Animal rights group PETA want people to stop calling animals 'pets' because it’s 'derogatory’

6 February 2020, 16:15 | Updated: 6 February 2020, 16:17

PETA wants pets to be referred to as 'companion animals' instead.

If you have a furry friend, listen up because activist group PETA have warned owners to be careful how they refer to their animals.

Ingrid Newkirk, the group’s founder, has said that instead of using the word ‘pet’, people should say ‘companion’.

She compared the term to calling women ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’ to make them appear ‘less of a person’.

“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,” The Express reports Ingrid, 70, said.

Ingrid Newkirk founded PETA
Ingrid Newkirk founded PETA. Picture: Getty Images

Adding: “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.’

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"They are not ours as decorations or toys, they are living beings.”

And it seems as though people are divided by Ingrid’s suggestion, as Piers Morgan went on an almighty rant during Tuesday’s instalment of GMB.

When PETA's senior media officer Jennifer White appeared on the show, Piers furiously slammed: "Oh for God’s sake, you don’t even believe this guff."

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Jennifer said: "When you refer to animals, not as the living beings that they are, but as an inanimate object, it can reflect our treatment on our animals."

Piers Morgan fumed at PETA's senior media officer Jennifer White
Piers Morgan fumed at PETA's senior media officer Jennifer White. Picture: ITV

Piers hit back: "You want to ban the word pet but you want your organisation to carry on being called Peta?

"Do you see the problem? But pet is offensive. I’m offended by the use of the word pet. PETA has literally got pet in it.”

Jennifer, then pointed out that it’s an acronym for ‘The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’, as she laughed: “We're not planning on changing it."

Piers began to bring up the list of idioms PETA also suggests we ditch, including "bring home the bagels" instead of "bacon" and "feed two birds with one scone" instead of "kill two birds with one stone".

Viewers were quick to comment on the debate, with many siding with Piers.

“Can't call your pet "Pet" apparently? What on earth has this world come to. #gmb,” said one person.

Another slammed: “Oh my god I have heard it all. #GMB Now we can't call our pets "Pet" as far as PETA is concerned. Also terms like bring the bacon home or don't let the cat out of the bag, because apparently it is very cruel to have a cat in a bag. GET THESE PEOPLE OFF MY TV.”