Domestic dogs, cats, hamsters or budgerigars should be rebranded as “companion animals” while owners should be known as “human carers”, they insist.The editors, Professors Andrew Linzey and Priscilla Cohn of Penn State University, added more offensive phrases of the English language that need to be stamped out:
Even terms such as wildlife are dismissed as insulting to the animals concerned – who should instead be known as “free-living”, the academics including an Oxford professor suggest.
The call comes from the editors of then Journal of Animal Ethics, a new academic publication devoted to the issue.
Phrases such as “sly as a fox, “eat like a pig” or “drunk as a skunk” are all unfair to animals, they claim.
“We shall not be able to think clearly unless we discipline ourselves to use less than partial adjectives in our exploration of animals and our moral relations with them," they say.