Sometimes, we don’t know how much our words can hurt an animal. Please keep in mind that animals are like us, they do have emotions and feelings. When you choose a dog, a cat, a pig, or a parrot as your forever friend, they also need a certain validation from you. However, there are still some people who tend to treat animals like their possessions and even worse, toys. Little does that person know, those attitudes and behaviors impact an animal’s nerve systems, sentiments, behaviors, and it becomes a trauma. The debatable topic has stirred up so many commenters with a burning question: “Should we call the animal friends of our lives ‘pets’?”
Calling them “pet” is one of the not-too-kind ways that we should avoid. Here are 4 reasons why we should not call our furry companions a pet, according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
#1 The word “pet” is offensive
Language is the most powerful tool. It helps us to communicate with other people and exchange information to better together. In a deeper meaning, words can either lift us or let us down. It also shows people how we think about a particular circumstance based on linguistic usages. In this case, the word ‘pet’ can be understood in so many directions. Some will say there is no harm for them when we call them ‘my pet’ or use the pronounce ‘it’ instead of he/she. On the other hand, people who have a big love for animals have a standpoint that telling the animals whom we consider friends ‘pet’ can be triggered and derogatory.
#2 The word “pet” means the animal is a possession, like a car
If you have attended to dog race, this is what it means to be a possession. The dogs themselves are absolutely happy and energetic when it comes to racing, running, and enjoying. However, this is mainly for the organization’s gain and the dogs have brutally categorized objects by default. The way we call them and use them as objects can tremendously destroy the rights and benefits that they can bring to us.
“A lot of people at home who have dogs and cats refer to them as pets and they refer to themselves as owners, and this implies that the animals are a possession.” – Said PETA.
If we think and use the term ‘pet’ to call them, we eventually mold and behave with them as such. It makes the intimacy of humans and their animal companions derailed.
#3 It reduces the animal with a personality and emotions to an inanimate object
Like humans, animals have feelings and emotions. Furthermore, they can have the ability to heal human’s mental health problems such as distress, anxiety, depression, social skills, autism, and so on. The way we put the animal’s emotions down can hurt them severely. When it comes to calling our fluffy friends ‘pets’, we start to limit the range of emotions, feelings, and mental abilities. Does that make sense when we place the animals who also have traits, emotions, and feelings like us in a lower position? Calling our friends ‘pets’ is too far gone from what they have expected us to do.
#4 “Companion” or “human carer” is more inclusive
As mentioned above, words can absolutely heal someone. Psychologically, if we start to reframe our thoughts, we will behave and express differently. Instead of calling them ‘pets’, let’s change the game. We actually still have a lot of kinder alternatives to call our friends properly. When you place them in the level as same as a human, their importance of being living things is increased. This is a good habit for us to maintain as well as educate our children to understand that animals also have emotions, personalities, feelings, and souls.
As far as I noticed, we tend to speak to our furry friends in a different intonation. We have a tendency to make a higher pitch as if we were talking to our kids. Animals can understand what and how we convey the message to them, so changing the way we call them is an act of love and respect to them.
“If we have the opportunity to use language which is kinder, more respectful towards other living beings, why wouldn’t we do that?” – PETA tweeted on Twitter.
There are so many ways to call our little friends instead of ‘pets’: companion, human carer, he/she, guardian, furry friend, boy/girl, or whatever names that can describe their outstanding traits. Hopefully, this article can change the way people think about animals so that we don’t have to see tragedies come into animals’ lives.