Common language on fauna betrays an “anthropocentric bias” and impedes an understanding of our interaction with the non-human species sharing the planet, argue the editors of the first academic journal dedicated to animal ethics in their debut issue.
Instead of “pet,” the Journal of Animal Ethics suggests “companion animal.” Rather than “wildlife,” they are to be called “free-living.” “Differentiated beings” or “non-human animals” is preferred to simply “animals.”
Words such as “vermin,” “beasts” and “critters” are stricken completely, along with similes such as “sly as a fox,” “drunk as a skunk,” “eat like a pig,” “slippery as an eel,” “breeding like rabbits” and “stubborn as a mule.”
“We will not be able to think clearly unless we discipline ourselves to use more impartial nouns and adjectives in our exploration of animals and our moral relations with them,” the editors write. (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)