We be of one blood, you and I.


Animals have gender.

Animals—by which I mean, of course, non-human animals—are male and female, just like we are.*

Why then, in English, do we refer to animals as “it”?

If you think that there are religious implications here, you're right.

“Animals” are our kin. As such, they deserve to be accorded dignity and treated with respect.

As such, they deserve to be spoken of as he or she, not it.

In standard journalistic style sheets, named animals—by which is meant, those on whom human beings have bestowed names, like Lassie, Bambi, or Cecil—get to be dignified with gendered pronouns. So-called “unnamed” animals, however, merit only an inanimate it.

Well, screw that, say I. Just who do we think we are?

But wait, you say: How do I know if that squirrel in the tree is male or female?

Oh for gods' sakes. Do you honestly mean to say that you can't tell?

And you call yourself a pagan?


*Biologically speaking, of course, the situation is rather more complicated than that, but let's start there for now.


Photo: Paul B. Rucker