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Turns Out Your Cat or Dog Can Feel Offended When You Call Them a “Pet”

Calling your animal a “pet” is derogatory, according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. According to a study published in the Journal of Animal Ethics, using the word can affect the way animals are treated. A PETA representative, Jennifer White, suggested it should be switched with more respectful terms, as our cats and dogs also understand us and have emotions.

Here at Bright Side, we always listen to what human or animal rights activists have to say. So here’s some news from PETA on how we offend our little animal friends and what to do about it.

The word “pet” is offensive.

Animal rights activists are saying not to use the word “pet” when referring to animals they own. In their opinion, it’s offensive and “patronizes the animal.” Considering our furry friends to not be living beings affects the treatment of these animals and even impacts their behavior.

The word “pet” means the animal is a possession, like a car.

PETA believes that using the term “pet” evokes associations with an inanimate object and even with an animal being disposable. Still, many people think that an animal is an object and a toy. In December, for example, many people receive puppies and kittens as a gift and in January, shelters are filled with these unwanted animals.

It reduces the animal with a personality and emotions to an inanimate object.

We all know animals can think and feel, so calling our small friends a “pet” reduces their wide range of emotions, feelings, and mental abilities to just a small fluffy object that can be held and cuddled, or “a possession to be used in any way the ‘owner’ wishes,” explained Ingrid Newkirk, the president of PETA.

“Companion” or “human carer” is more inclusive.

Domestic animals like cats and dogs understand our intonations, read our emotions, and in general, realize what we mean when we speak to them. Therefore, adjusting the way we refer to our furry friends can actually be a good idea.

For example, when we call an animal a “companion” and even change it to “he/she” instead of “it,” this puts the animal on the same level as a human. That increases the importance of the animal’s life and in the future, might prevent some cases of animal husbandry and abandonment. It’s also good for educating children so they’ll understand that their animal friend has a soul, mind, and feelings, just like a human.

Do you think calling an animal by a more respectful name can change its behavior and attitude toward the owner? We’d be happy to hear your opinion in the comment section below!

Preview photo credit MohamedMostafa4 / imgur