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If a cat or dog shares your dwelling, I would guess you are not referring to the four-footed family member who licks your face, falls asleep on your lap, sleeps on your bed and sniffs the scent of dirty socks. – as if they were saturated with rose petals – as if they were “she”. You might call them by name; And referring to them with “he” or “she” and various nicknames inspired by their personality and habits, and in this regard, you.
A group of over 80 people interested in animal welfare, including Dr. Jane Goodall, have them Letter signed Associated Press Stylebook editors call to change their directives so that animals in news stories are identified as “he / he / she / he / she / she when their gender is known, regardless of species, and gender neutrality they, or he / she, Or him / her when their gender is unknown. “
News organizations, including NPR, often follow AP Stylebook guidelines. The signatories of this letter hope that when we write about animals in zoos, shelters, fields, farms, forests, seas, slaughterhouses, and laboratories, they are recognized as living creatures that feel: hunger, fear, happiness and pain.
This might mean writing sentences like, “The rat was infected with the virus…” or “The deer was hit by a car…” and he or they died – not that.
The proposed change may seem difficult to imagine now. But consider how the care we take with the personal pronouns of humans has changed over the past several years.
Ben Dreer, Head of Copying at Random House and best-selling author of the book Dreyer English: A Totally True Guide to Clarity and StyleThese changes, he says, remind us that considered modifications in our language shouldn’t wait for a style book.
He told us, “Writers should write in the way they see fit to write, and the changes they want to bring about either will or will not be widely adopted. From the past because the book abandoned it.”
Laura Hillenbrand, author Biscuit And other best-selling books, he told us that if we do not refer to animals in personal terms, “we open ourselves to abuse, neglect and exploitation of creatures that are no less capable of suffering than our capacity to suffer.
“People and animals share an enormous capacity for feeling,” she says. “[W]We form beautiful and deep relationships with them, and truly put animals on a moral level side-by-side with ourselves and far above the level of the ash block or axle cap, the things we call it. ” “
Pointing to animals in person may help us understand how much life we share.