Have you heard that term before? I find that it has grown insanely popular in the past couple of years. When people talk about their pets, they often refer to them as their “furbabies.” Bumper stickers announcing to the world that the driver’s furbabies are loved are not uncommon. It is a trend that I do not quite understand.
In the beginning, it seemed like the term was used by people who did not have kids of their own. I had encountered single women calling their dogs and cats furbabies. Even though I would wince slightly, I tried not to show it. It was obvious that these women lacked something in their lives, so they filled it with their pet and the furbaby label. Not too long after that, I noticed childless couples using that term. Again, it sounded strange to me, but since not everyone can have kids, I was glad to see them happy with their “furbabies.” However, since then, I have heard married couples with kids and grandkids use the term furbabies. I guess it has caught on. Although, my partner and I both love animals, we find it weird and agree that we would never call our pets that.
The founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants to change the way we talk about our pets. To her, calling our dogs and cats “pets” is derogatory. While I can understand that that term can somewhat objectify our house animals, I do not think that her suggestion of using “animal companion” is any better. To me, an animal is a wild thing. It is something that is hard to tame and might be potentially dangerous. A pet has a higher status for me than an animal.
We are asked to call ourselves “guardians” rather than owners. Again, while I understand the premise, I am not sure that I agree. Do we buy our pets? (Yes.) Do we do that to set them free? (No.) Therefore, I believe we ARE their owners. Will you lead your dog by the leash or will they lead you? We might provide shelter and food for the dog, I do not see humans as guardians. At least not of dogs. Why do we see signs on fences announcing that a dog lives there? Because it is the dog that is our guardian. There are dozens of stories about dogs and cats alike saving their human’s lives.
Why do words, terms, and labels matter? Apparently, PETA’s representative argues that it translates into the way we treat our pets.
If you would like to see an interview with a PETA representative on the topic of changing animal-related phrases we use on a daily basis, take a look at this video (2:12 in). It is rather entertaining.
This is a post about animals. The featured photos says so, so does the title, and so does the content (so far). However, this post will not be complete without me mentioning what is currently EVERYWHERE. We hear about it on the radio, we see it on TV, we read about it on the Internet. It jumps out at us from our fridge. Well, almost. What is it? Coronavirus, of course.
How is the disease tied to pets? A young woman in Wuhan refused to evacuate without her cat. She is a Canadian citizen who is currently stranded in China because Canadian authorities will not allow her cat on the plane. I am not sure why exactly that is. Can they not test the cat for any illnesses to make sure it will not bring anything contagious? She said she could leave the cat with her friends, but chooses not to because she is not sure when it will be safe to return.
Because of the virus, a temporary ban on catching, selling, or eating wildlife has been imposed on the Chinese people. Unfortunately, not everyone adheres. Hundreds of people have been arrested for not adhering to the ban. The police raids have gathered 40,000 animals including squirrels, weasels, and boars.
Although we are not 100% certain of what caused the viral outbreak, scientists think that it might have been a disease we contracted from bats via pangolins. Their scales are used in Chinese medicine.
Things like the coronavirus are a great time for people to fight one another. Some people suggest that it is all because humans think they can eat anything and that the animals are here for us, while others insist that we need to share the planet and stop eating animals. Why is no one worried about us eating all the plants? Have you thought about the food chain? If we eat all the plants, what are the herbivores of the animal kingdom going to eat?
Among all those squabbles, there is a story that inspires me. A couple from India spent the last two decades buying land around a tiger reserve to help the animals. What do they do with the land? They allow trees to grow, making it a great area for tigers to hang out. In the past, the predatory animals would venture out to nearby farms, scaring people away. Now that they have more land to themselves, they stick to their own area. The tigers can just be themselves there – relaxing, catching prey and drinking water. All of that without getting disturbed by humans. The reason why this story is so inspiring to me is because this couple took matters into their own hands. They gave more space to the animals without asking anyone to sacrifice anything.
If you want to know how crazy a squirrel on drugs can get, read my article NROP: Humans – the masters, the idiots and the killers; How do animals fit into that?
Do you call your pets furbabies?
What do you think of the term “furbabies?”
How do you call your dog/cat when talking about them to others?
What do you think of the suggested terms?
Do you think changing the way we speak will change the way some people think?
Would you leave your pet behind if you had to evacuate?
Do you think we will become disease free if we stop eating animals?
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