Animals should not be described as 'vermin', 'pests' or even 'pets', animal ethicists have decided.
Academics say that traditional words used to characterise animals like 'beasts' and 'critters' are derogatory and should be replaced.
They say words like 'pests' and 'vermin' should be dropped altogether, and 'pets' replaced by 'companion animals'.
'Wild animals' should be termed 'free living or free ranging animals' they argue, because 'wildness' is too close to 'uncivilised', unrestrained, barbarous existence. There is an obvious prejudgment here that should be avoided.'
The call for a new 'animal language' has been made by the editors of a new academic journal, the Journal of Animal Ethics, published this month for the first time by the University of Illinois Press.
Are you offended yet, Kritters?