Referring to Animals

Animal Ethics

Mark Spahn, a longtime reader of my AnalPhilosopher blog, thinks it’s question-begging to use “who” (instead of “that”) to refer to animals. I don’t know of a neutral way to refer to animals: one that doesn’t make an assumption about moral status. If both usages are question-begging, and if there’s no neutral reference, what’s wrong with choosing the usage that accords with one’s view of the moral status of animals?

2006 40

4 The Love Of Animals

We love to share other sites who are helping spread the word about dog adoption and responsible pet ownership. is one of those sites, and they just celebrated a huge success! Their Facebook page has reached over 130,000 fans! That’s a whole bunch of dog lovers.

2010 188

Trending Sources

Newfoundland MP Says PETA Pie Throw Could be Terrorism

Critter News

She's referring to the pie thrown in the face of Fisheries Minister Gail Shea by a PETA member protesting the Canadian seal hunt. It's pretty scary that a Liberal MP would actually question whether a pie in the face is terrorism. I'm wondering whether the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act in the US is making the rounds of Canadian politicians.

Seals 100

Man Arrested for Smuggling Armoured Catfish

Critter News

The 34-year-old man arrived in Melbourne on a flight from Hong Kong on August 21 and was referred to the Australian Customs Service following a quarantine x-ray examination. I guess you can smuggle anything in your suitcase if you try hard enough. A Chinese man has been arrested for allegedly smuggling 13 armoured catfish into Australia on a Melbourne-bound flight.

Cute of the Day: baby giraffes

4 The Love Of Animals

The term “reticulated” refers to the giraffe’s net-like pattern of spots.). Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay recently welcomed two more baby giraffes, bringing the herd to 17! And they are super cute too! The giraffes joined the rest of the heard on the Serengeti Plain on July 13th.

Cute of the Day: All Legs Baby!

4 The Love Of Animals

The term “reticulated” refers to the giraffe’s net-like pattern of spots. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a new baby reticulated giraffe just days ago. Weighing approximately 147 pounds at birth, the newborn is the calf of mother, Teesa, and father, Sterling.

Pet Photography 101 Giveaway

4 The Love Of Animals

Written by celebrated pet photographer, Andrew Darlow, the book is a great reference for anyone looking to capture their pets lives and personalities through the use of photography.

2010 151

Sleep Number True Silver Blanket

4 The Love Of Animals

Please be sure to use 4 The Love of Animals as the referring blog to ensure proper entry! I’m very excited to share this with you! We all know that our pets love to be on our beds with us. Some even sleep in our beds with us all night long!

2011 169

Mylan Engel Jr and Kathie Jenni on Prejudice Against Animals

Animal Ethics

Both authors consider the attitudes of most people toward animals to be nothing more than an arbitrary prejudice in favor of our own kind that many now refer to pejoratively as "speciesism" (a term coined by Richard Ryder). While [Peter] Singer 's and [Tom] Regan 's theoretical approaches are fundamentally different, they converge on a number of important points.

2016 43

From the Mailbag

Animal Ethics

Example: A reference to "still undemocratic Iraq" makes the assertion that eventually Iraq will be democratic. On the blog Animal Ethics (which I visited because of your reference to it) is the sentence "Let us temporarily assume for the sake of argument that it would be permissible to eat the flesh of an animal who was raised humanely and killed entirely painlessly."

2006 40

On "Pets" and "Its"

Animal Person

Here 's the book, and in the preview you can see that in the beginning when the gorilla being described is male he is referred to as "he." But what you don't see in the preview is that later on gorillas are referred to as "its," and when I was reading aloud and came upon that word I was unable to say it. When referring to cats, dogs and horses of unknown sex, the children would randomly assign sex, with the conventionally "prettier" animals being called "she."

Calgary Zoo Set for External Review

Critter News

The latter comment is in reference to Zoocheck Canada , a zoo watchdog demanding the independent investigation. Bowing under pressure, they are allowing an outside group of experts review their operations. But, of course, this is really all because of some extremists who want to close down all zoos.

Zoos 100

Daddy, Cesar Millan’s Dog, lives to 16!

4 The Love Of Animals

Here is the information we received about Daddy, and the fund that has been established in his honor: Daddy, often referred to as America’s pit bull ambassador because of his gentle disposition and intelligence, lived with the Millans from the age of four months. Cesar and Daddy.

2010 169

Crime Gang Dealing in Rhino Horn and Elephant Ivory

Critter News

Also referred to as “The Butcher of Matabeleland”, he is the architect of Zimbabwe’s terrifying state security apparatus, creator of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Office (CIO) - and rumored to be next in line for president after Mugabe. This is big, scary business out there, not some struggling poor people trying to survive. Like in arms dealing and drug smuggling, we are talking dangerous and powerful criminals. And where is the demand coming from? China of course!

Rhinos 100

Get the Scoop on International Pooper Scooper Week

4 The Love Of Animals

References. If “every dog should have its day,” a whole week might make them feel even better.

2011 206

On Ducks and Geese

Animal Person

And I'm not referring to a duck marching up to you in search of food; I'm referring to a duck inching closer to you as you sit by the lake--without any food--and sitting close to you and looking right into your eyes while she grooms or settles in for a nap. This is Girlie Girl.

Geese 130

Sea Shepherd Attends Whaling Conference

Critter News

Oh, they’re probably referring to when I chased the pirate whaler Sierra into Lexioes Harbor and rammed it twice. This makes for an entertaining read. First up, Paul Watson goes through Portuguese Customs: At one point the officer came into the room and asked if I had ever been in trouble in Portugal and then added, “Something about a Dutch ship about 10 years ago?” Hmmm, I don’t know anything about a Dutch ship 10 years ago,” I answered.

Whales 100

Atttorney's File Motion to Dismiss Charges Against AETA 4

Critter News

The activists, Joseph Buddenberg, Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope and Adriana Stumpo, referred to as the AETA 4, were indicted for alleged conspiracy to commit “animal enterprise terrorism” as a result of their alleged participation in conduct including protesting, writing with chalk on the sidewalk, chanting, leafleting, and the use of “the Internet to find information on bio-medical researchers.”

AETA 100

PETA Says Vick's Brain Should be Scanned for Psychopathy

Critter News

People with APD are commonly referred to as “psychopaths”. Oh PETA, my PETA. PETA is demanding that Vick be barred from the league unless he has a brain scan to prove he’s not a psychopath. It has written a letter to Goodell to press its case and is urging supporters to write e-mails to Goodell. From the PETA Web site: Vick’s behavior seems to fit the American Psychiatric Association profile for anti-social personality disorder (APD).

2009 100

Tips to reduce seperation anxiety.

4 The Love Of Animals

Diligently check all of the company’s references – at least three should be voluntarily provided. Pet expert Paul Mann, founder of Fetch! Pet Care , has sent us some tips to help our pets (and ourselves) reduce separation anxiety. Paul is around dogs and their owner every single day, so he knows a thing or two about it. The tips also provide a subtle reminder that sometimes it’s alright to leave Fido for a weekend-get-a-way or business trip. Tips to Reduce Separation Anxiety.

2010 100

On "EATING ANIMALS" by Jonathan Safran Foer

Animal Person

He always refers to himself and his wife and his child as "vegetarian." This is not a book about animal rights, and some might say Foer gets animal rights wrong as his only reference is PETA. In all fairness, most people's only reference is PETA.

Animal 206

Romain Rolland on Animal Suffering

Creature Talk

If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. And that is the unpardonable crime. Romain Rolland, Nobel Prize 1915.

Fancy Feasts (For Fabulous Floors)

4 The Love Of Animals

Cy, more commonly referred to at our house simply as ‘The Boy,’ has loved sinks, tubs and showers since he was a kitten and that is only one of the many unique qualities that I love about him.

2014 184

Why Top Chef Makes Me So Mad

Critter News

Throughout the entire show, the judges and contestants always refer to their meats as the "protein." I'm just watching the fourth or fifth episode of the latest season of Top Chef. It just irritates the hell out of me. First of all, it highlights the deficiencies of today's chefs' training. It's as though there is no other protein around. That's not true. Vegetarians and vegans know that you get protein from vegetables. Protein is not dependent on meat at all. That is total misinformation.

Animal Welfare at

Animal Person

I think this is fabulous because Stephanie Ernst (the AW blogger is Stephanie Feldstein, so be careful referring to "Stephanie," or to the blogger with the pit bull!) Did you see that now has an Animal Welfare page? is clearly someone who advocates for animal rights. Ernst believes we don't have a right to use sentient nonhumans and all of her posts (and those of Alex Melonas, who also posts at are unequivocal about animal use.

Sea Shepherd Continues Battle with Japanese Whalers

Critter News

They are accusing the Sea Shepherd crew of throwing rotten butter (which the Japanese refer to as "acid") at them yet the whalers are throwing golf balls and chunks of metal at the Steve Irwin crew. I admit I haven't been paying attention to what has been going on with the Japanese whaling fleet. Sea Shepherd has been following them for some time.

2009 100

Veganism is the "End Stage?"

Animal Person

Also, someone commented, referring to a vegan diet for dogs as "nonsensical" and I worry that the dozens of readers of that post will be influenced by that.

2009 100

7 Tips for Creating a Dog-Friendly Yard

4 The Love Of Animals

Consider making a wish list, and then cross reference those plant varieties with the free database maintained by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Having a pet does not mean you have to give up hopes of having a lush, well-manicured yard.

2012 186

Books for Animal Lovers; May Edition

4 The Love Of Animals

An important read for anyone with an older dog, and a great book to keep in your bookshelf for reference. We always love reading books about animals, and from time to time we get to review new books to share with our readers!

2011 141

Guest Post: Understanding Pet Food Labels

4 The Love Of Animals

Restaurant Grade” is a new term with no legal definition at this point; however, it refers to the quality of the ingredient as not only “human grade” but the same quality approved by FDA for grocery stores and restaurants. FDA approved” may refer the minimum standards have for pet food (NOT recommended for human consumption) or to the higher and more stringent standards set for restaurants or grocery stores.

2010 126

Does Vick Deserve a Second Chance?

Animal Person

And I'm not just referring to Vick here. Do you agree with the New York Times ' William C. Rhoden in " The Case for a Second Chance for Michael Vick? " Let's deconstruct the concept: Do you think that people who have spent their lives harming animals by eating them, just like I did and much of my family still does, deserve a second chance? Is fighting and killing dogs the same thing? Is Vick a special kind of creep for what he did? Is what he did like hunting? Like skinning a mink?

Lessons Learned From 4 Years of Animal Person, Part 2

Animal Person

You might want to refer to omnivores as "corpse munchers." But I'm not referring to them. I'm referring to people who want to bully or attack and not have to deal with the consequences. Yesterday's lessons learned were primarily about blogging. Today they're about language. Lesson #7 Obsessing over language can become counterproductive. And this, coming from a person with a doctorate in Applied Linguistics. I can talk about language all day, every day.

From Today's New York Times

Animal Ethics

6): I was disappointed that you dignified the “harvest” (a classic euphemism) with high-tech bows and arrows of tule elk in California on the front page with references to the “sport” and compliance with “an ethical code known as Fair Chase.” To the Editor: Re “ Bow Hunters’ Solitary Quest: Stalking an Elk and a Record ” (front page, Jan.

Hal Herzog's "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat"

Animal Person

Herzog, unsurprisingly, uses “it” to refer to animals, eats and wears them, and “[does] not feel particularly guilty about it” (P.S., Hal Herzog’s “ Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat ” (Harper 2011), though fascinating, is ultimately depressing for vegans and animal rights activists.

2011 167

Dog-Owner Conversations May Be Possible in Near Future

4 The Love Of Animals

A campaign was recently launched by the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery to raise funds for the purpose of designing a specific device that the organization refers to as “No More Woof.”

2014 130

Dog Flu Facts

4 The Love Of Animals

The H3N8 virus, more commonly referred to as the Dog Flu or canine influenza. It’s that time of the year again! The Center for Disease Control recommends people begin getting flu vaccinations in October. On the pet side, the H3N8 virus, or canine influenza, has been a growing concern. H3N8 is the virus that causes flu in dogs, and while there are no known cases of a human catching the flu from their pet, it can be passed from dog to dog.

2010 122

Pet First Aid – What to Do in an Emergency

4 The Love Of Animals

They also offer detailed reference guides and DVDs which can help you learn CPR. When a pet gets injured or stops breathing, it can be a stressful and frightening situation.

2011 173

Where Does Entertainment Begin and End?

Animal Person

Juluri is referring to something specific: the Supreme Court's examination of First Amendment protection of acts of cruelty to animals. Juluri's focus on animals used to entertain humans is intentional and speaks to the legal battle he refers to.

2009 100

When Horses are Persons

Animal Person

But on rare occasions, the animal-using world deigns to use the term when referring to an animal. Animal rights activists have considered sentient nonhumans as persons for quite some time. In " Hungary's Spirits Are Back Up, on a Horse ," the New York Times' Nicholas Kulish reports that a thoroughbred known as Overdose, who is owned by Hungarian Zoltan Mikoczy, has become "the Hungarian Seabiscuit. He appears to remind Hungarians of themselves: undervalued and underestimated."

Horses 100

On ANIMAL EQUALITY, by Joan Dunayer

Animal Person

In the notes, she explains that she uses " nonhuman companion and nonhuman friend with reference to nonhumans treated with full respectl I use pet with reference to nonhumans who are sold, discarded, or otherwise disrespected" (204).

2010 136