Pet owners should stop calling their animals "pets" because it's insulting, leading academics claim.
Domestic dogs, cats, and other creatures should instead be called "companion animals" while owners should be known as "human carers", they say.
The call comes from the Journal of Animal Ethics, a new academic publication, edited by the Rev Professor Andrew Linzey, director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.
In its first editorial, the journal also condemns the use of terms such as "critters" and "beasts", and even "wildlife" because it suggests "uncivilised".
It argues that "derogatory" language about animals can affect the way that they are treated.
"Despite its prevalence, 'pets' is surely a derogatory term both of the animals concerned and their human carers," the editorial claims.
"Again the word 'owners', whilst technically correct in law, harks back to a previous age when animals were regarded as just that: property, machines or things to use without moral constraint."
It goes on: "We invite authors to use the words 'free-living', 'free-ranging' or 'free-roaming' rather than 'wild animals'.
"For most, 'wildness' is synonymous with uncivilised, unrestrained, barbarous existence. There is an obvious prejudgment here that should be avoided."
Prof Linzey also hopes to see phrases such as "sly as a fox", "eat like a pig" or "drunk as a skunk" stamped out.