New Skool: "May I caress your companion animal?"
According to the Journal of Animal Ethics, we have been unknowingly been insulting our beloved pets on a regular basis. A recent study compiled by university professors from America and Great Britain states that "pets" is downright derogatory and not an acceptable moniker for domesticated animals. They assert that "pets" should instead by replaced with the term "companion animals"...which I whole heartedly agree with!
Similarly, their findings maintain that words such as "owner," are also offensive, recommending instead that we be known as "human carers." (I personally would prefer "Lulu's mom" over "Lulu's human carer.") While technically correct in law, "pet owner" does kind of hark back to a previous age when animals were regarded as property. These academics believe that changing our vocabulary to companion or "parent" is essential to updating our understanding of the relationship between humans and the natural world.
I have to say - I agree with their recommendations! What do you think? Will changing the way people refer to animals and pets help change the way they are treated?