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Companion animals? Political correctness runs wild

By Scott Tibbs, May 11, 2011

Do we need to be more compassionate when speaking of animals? The Journal on Animal Ethics thinks so:

"We do need to examine our language about animals because a lot of it is derogatory in the sense that it belittles them and our relations with them," journal co-editor Andrew Linzey said.

Source: Seattle Post Intelligencer, May 4, 2011.

Yes, we should respect animal welfare, but this is just silly. The idea that our current terminology "derogatory or disparaging language "makes it easier for us to justify exploiting" animals smacks of political correctness run wild.

What I find ironic is legislation to replacing the term "destroy" with the much more antiseptic "euthanize." If we are truly interested in animal welfare, why would we soften our language? After all, euthanizing an animal sounds so much kinder than destroying an animal, even though the terms mean exactly the same thing. Euthanizing an animal may even be an act of kindness if the animal is suffering. Obscuring the reality of death makes it easier to kill, not more difficult.

I own two dogs. I am not the "human caregiver" or "guardian" for them. They are not my companion animals, they are my pets. There is no need for this effeminate terminology, and the more time we spend debating political correctness the less time we have to deal with real issues of animal welfare.