Animal Ownership: Is There a Better Way?

Animal Ownership: Is There a Better Way?

The words we use and the way we talk about animals can have a monumental influence on how they are perceived and treated. Each May, we celebrate Guardian Month to promote life-saving language, actions, and values around animal guardianship. This year, we've launched an important pledge to encourage respect for animals - we hope you will join us and make respect for animals part of your language!

The term animal "owner" promotes the idea that animals are human property - little more than objects intended to entertain us. On the other hand, animal guardians position themselves in a more equal, loving, and respectful relationship.

This Guardian Month, we encourage you to think about the language you use and pledge to fight against animal ownership and exploitation by becoming a guardian. It's a simple change we can all make to start helping animals right away!

As animal guardians, we pledge:

1. To make a lifetime commitment to them, to cherish and love them, to always treat them as family, with respect, compassion, consideration, kindness, and gentleness.

2. To care for their emotional needs and work through any behavior issues that may arise.

3. To promise to only adopt, and to never to buy or sell a fellow being - for they are not objects, property, commodities, or things to be bought and sold.

4. To commit to sterilizing your animal companions.

5. To always provide them with nutritious food, fresh water, and daily exercise, and to avoid the use of toxic cleaners and chemicals in your home.

6. To always refer yourself and others as guardians and family of your animal companions, rather than owners or masters.

7. To treat all our fellow beings with whom we share our homes and planet with respect, consideration, kindness, justice, and compassion.

8. To protect our and their environments, to preserve their habitats, to work to end their enslavement, and to end any and all cruel and outdated customs and traditions, in our country and around the world.

If you're ready to commit to animal guardianship and leave animal ownership behind you, please sign the Guardian Pledge and join the many others who are using language to help animals be respected as the complex, independent, and loving beings that they are.