What domain are cats in
The case against the word ‘pet’ By Steve Mirsky
Cats are not pets, the author says.
It seems preposterous to question the word “pet,” but the author of this piece does so with a straight face. It’s not clear whether he’s trying to be provocative or is simply ignorant. If he’s being provocative, this piece is misguided and self-defeating: trying to introduce the concept of “pet” into the cat-versus-pet debate probably will only lead to more debate about what “pet” means. If he’s ignorant, that’s a shame, but it’s a shame that ignorance is all too common in our society.
To his credit, he admits that he doesn’t know all the biological details, but he also doesn’t know that the “pet” word is used in a variety of ways, and it’s not always clear what he thinks it is or isn’t. He’s right that the word “pet” is used to refer to a wide range of creatures, but he’s wrong that “pet” is always used to refer to a living creature. The word was originally used to refer only to things that had been domesticated.
He’s wrong that “pet” is always used to refer to a living creature.
He’s also wrong in suggesting that “pet” means “owner” or “possessor.” It doesn’t. The word “pet” originally referred to a domesticated animal.
“Pet” originally referred to a domesticated animal.
The word “pet” is used in many other ways, in parallel languages and non-parallel languages. I’ll list some of the uses in the next paragraph, but I’ll also list some of the uses that it’s not used for, when I discuss the biological issues in the following paragraph.
It’s not used to refer to many animals that are domesticated and beloved, including dogs, cats and horses. However, it is used to refer to certain types of animals that have been domesticated for specific purposes, but that are not loved by humans. It’s used to refer to animals who are living in a way that is not part of the natural order of life.
It’s used to refer to animals who are living in a way that is not part of the natural order of life.
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