An animal rights organization is calling for people to stop using the word “pet” when referring to the animals they have.
During an interview on Good Morning Britain, Jennifer White of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said the term “pet” is derogatory. They encourage humans to use “companion” instead when talking about their animals.
“A lot of people at home who have dogs or cats will call them pets and refer to themselves as owners and this implies that the animals are a possession, like a car for example,” White said. “When you refer to animals not as the living beings as they are but as an inanimate object, it can reflect our treatment on these animals.”
PETA’s founder and president Ingrid Newkirk told the Daily Mail that calling animals as “pets” makes humans treat them as “commodity” rather than sentient beings.
“Animals are not pets – they are not your cheap burglar alarm, or something which allows you to go out for a walk. They are not ours as decorations or toys, they are living beings,” Newkirk told the Daily Mail.
White added that they are not banning the word, rather, they are just encouraging people to use a better one.
“We’re not telling anyone it’s offensive, we’re suggesting people could use the word companion because it means so much more,” she added.
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