PETA Wants Us To Stop Using The Term ‘Pets’ Because It’s Derogatory To Animals

PETA Wants Us To Stop Using The Term ‘Pets’ Because It’s Derogatory To Animals

PETA has insisted that we should stop using the word “pets” as it’s derogatory to animals. Jennifer White, who represents the animal rights organization, appeared on Good Morning Britain to say that while it may seem innocent and even accurate, describing a dog, cat, ferret, or any other creature we care for in our homes as a “pet” is patronizing to the animal and should be stopped immediately. Huh.

  1. It implies that animals are like any other possession. According to Wright: “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.” I literally don’t think anyone has ever confused their dog or cat for a car, but who knows? She added: “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.”
  2. Animals have their own identity. White also felt it was important to point out that animals are “their own individual beings.” This echoes the thoughts of PETA’s founder, Ingrid Newkirk, who earlier claimed that calling animals “pets” is like calling women “honey” or “sweetie.” Except the fact that misogyny is a serious thing and pet…discrimination (??) isn’t, but okay.
  3. Apparently, “pets are not something you have.” I mean, they are, especially considering that without the love and care of their owners, domesticated animals can often find themselves struggling to find food, a comfortable and warm place to sleep, and medical care. However, Newkirk is sticking to her guns here. “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. A dog is a feeling, whole individual, with emotions and interests, not something you ‘have.'”
  4. What is the dictionary definition of a “pet,” you might ask? The literal definition of a pet is “a domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship or pleasure,” so I’m pretty sure the title does apply here. Of all the hills to die on, I don’t feel like that’s a good one.

Piper is a NYC-based writer who loves dogs, iced coffee, and calling people out on their BS.