Thursday, January 21, 2010

IMHO: Textbook perpetuates animal objectification

I advocate feminism. That means I am dedicated to fighting all types of oppression and abuse. That fight extends to the non-human world.

That is why I was angry to find this sentence in a journalism text book as an example of an incorrect attribution that could be construed as opinion:

"Sodium phenobarbital injections provide a more humane way than compression chambers to dispose of pets."

Why would the authors include this sentence? Not only is it inappropriate and out of place, its inclusion treats the problem of disposable pets much to casually.

Millions of pets are "disposed of" each year. The problem is huge. The root cause is the way we view animals -- as objects.

Pets are not a box of junk or a bag of trash to be tossed out when they are no longer wanted.

These are living beings with emotions.

They form attachments.

They feel pain and loss.

They require a lifetime commitment from their caregivers.

There are people who are working toward a no-kill society. Others work tirelessly against cruelty and promote humane education. The biggest obstacle is the objectification of animals.

Verbiage like this perpetuates the objectification of animals.

The book is "Broadcast News Process, Seventh Edition" by James Redmond, Frederick Shook, Dan Lattimore, and Laura Lattimore-Volkmann (Morton Publishing.) It is not currently used at OU --and I hope it never will be.

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