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PETA Founder Wants To Ban The Term 'Pet' Because Cats And Dogs Are 'Equals'

Rebecca Shepherd

| Last updated 

PETA Founder Wants To Ban The Term 'Pet' Because Cats And Dogs Are 'Equals'

An animal rights activist has asked people to stop calling their animals 'pets' because it's a 'derogatory' term.

Ingrid Newkirk, 70, who co-founded People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) with fellow activist Alex Pacheco, said calling animals 'pets' is just like calling a woman 'sweetie' or 'honey'.

She told Metro: "Animals are not pets - they are not your cheap burglar alarm, or something which allows you to go out for a walk. They are not ours as decorations or toys, they are living beings."

PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk. Credit: PA
PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk. Credit: PA

PETA has previously called for animals to be seen as equal to humans and said the term 'pet owner' should be changed to 'human carer' or 'guardian' instead.

She continued: "A dog is a feeling, whole individual, with emotions and interests, not something you 'have'.

"How we say things governs how we think about them, so a tweak in our language when we talk about the animals in our homes is needed.

"A pet is a commodity but animals should not be things on shelves or in boxes, where people say, 'I like the look of that one, it matches my curtains or my sense of myself'. Hopefully the time is passing for that kind of attitude."

A girl poses with a dog during a pet carnival in Cairo, Egypt. Credit: PA
A girl poses with a dog during a pet carnival in Cairo, Egypt. Credit: PA

One person who we're sure thinks of his dog as his equal is WeatherTech CEO David MacNeil, who forked out a whopping $6 million (£4.6m) on a Super Bowl ad about veterinarians saving his beloved golden retriever Scout.

An aggressive cancer was found inside Scout during a scan last year and he was given just a one percent survival chance. The disease was attacking the dog's blood vessel walls inside his heart and his future looked bleak.

Despite the extreme odds against him, David asked the vets to treat his pet with everything they had.

Scout getting treatment. Credit: WeatherTech
Scout getting treatment. Credit: WeatherTech

Scout was taken to University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, where he underwent chemotherapy and radiation.

Incredibly, the Golden Retriever's tumour shrunk by 90 percent, thanks to the treatment. Now, the tumour has pretty much vanished.

As a way of saying thank you, David thought it would be better to showcase the hard work the staff did on Scout on the world stage. So he made an advertisement for the Super Bowl.

School of Veterinary Medicine dean Mark Markel reckons the advert will go a long way in promoting everything they do. He said: "This is an amazing opportunity not only for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the School of Veterinary Medicine, but for veterinary medicine worldwide.

"So much of what's known globally today about how best to diagnose and treat devastating diseases such as cancer originated in veterinary medicine. We're thrilled to share with Super Bowl viewers how our profession benefits beloved animals like Scout and helps people, too."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, PETA, Animals, Cats, Dogs

Rebecca Shepherd
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