How does one "insult" any living creature that cannot use spoken language? I can't think of any way. Alongside the UK, the US pampers their pets more than anyone else in the world. BTW, pet and animal companion are interchangeable terms in my dictionary.
Even though this journal is published by University of Illinois press, ironically I have no online access to it.
The little access I do have shows me that this is a new journal, and this editorial is the first article in the new journal. I can also read the first page, and it's pretty obvious that the journal editors are trying to set the tone for journal by laying out the terms they would like to see used by people submitting articles, as evidenced by this:
So in other words, they are suggesting that terms like "companion animal" be used in place of "pet" in academic writing. You can disagree with the premise of the quote above as much as you like, but these people aren't as loony as the article in the Telegraph portrays them to be.
My question is, since when did "pet" not appropriately convey the right meaning that we have to change it?
What they are trying to do is exult animals to be more than they are. They are trying to put animals on the same level as humans. I'm sorry, they are animals. I don't think that a animal should be mistreated just because they are not human. I don't even agree with people hunting just for the trophy (ie not using the meat). Still I know that there is a big difference between human life and animal life and we shouldn't feel guilty about the fact that we are above them.
Now excuse me, I'm going to go eat my hamburger and play with my pets.
I requested a copy of the editorial through the UIUC library and it arrived this morning. A few things:
1) The authors never once say that using the term "pets" is "insulting." No form of the word "insult" appears anywhere in the editorial. That came solely from the author of the Telegraph article.
2) The editorial is calling for the use of specific terms by authors in their journal, which I find to be perfectly reasonable even if I don't agree with a lot of what they say. Never once do they call for the general public to use these terms.
Personally, I think a lot of what the editorial says (particularly with regards to wildlife) is nothing but 100% Grade A Stupid, but with that being said the important thing here is the Telegraph article either completely misses the point of the editorial, or is dishonest in how it represents the editorial. I'm inclined to believe the latter, given that virtually every instance of calling for a new term to be used in the editorial is prefaced with something like "We ask authors to..."
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