May 3rd, 2010


Writer's Block: Pet central

Some animal rights activists are fighting to replace the term 'owner' with 'guardian' to convey a more balanced relationship between a person and her or his pet. Do you agree or disagree with the importance of this mission?

I think that's just silly. It's not a balanced relationship. I'm sure our cats look on me as their servants, and our dog as something between a deity and a parent...* but they are our pets, not children or anything like that. I similarly object to the idea of calling them "fur persons", etc. They are our pets... most of the time I tend to think of us as their people, but we are their owners, not their guardians. And in our case at least, they are not familiars or magical animal companions, either. That's a different and also valid interrelationship, but not the one that exists with us.

* yeah, and I know that's anthropomorphization. So what? That's part of the joy of having a pet in the first place.