Some animal rights activists are fighting to replace the term 'owner' with 'guardian' to convey a more balanced relationship between a person and her or his pet. Do you agree or disagree with the importance of this mission?
I haven't heard about this, but it makes sense. Although I love animals, I tend to avoid activists because of the rampant "if you're not a vegan and/or if you let your pets go outside and/or if you don't feed them expensive organic food and/or if you so much as look at an animal the wrong way, YOU'RE A HORRIBLE ANIMAL ABUSER" mentality. Yes, I know that not all activists are like that, but a lot are. I love animals as much as they do, but it's nobody's business what I eat or how I take care of my animals, as long as I'm not doing anything that will directly harm them/myself (mmm, delicious cyanide...).
Anyway, the term "guardian" does work better... after all, if you have kids, you're not their "owner," and you can never really "own" life that isn't your own. Besides, anyone who has cats knows that "owning" a cat is impossible. Once you let a cat into your house, it decides it owns the place, and you're just the walking food bowl filler/warm lap/litterbox cleaner/can opener/masseuse. I have four of these little beasties, and they have me trained pretty well. If I don't drop everything to cater to them, they walk on my keyboard, headbutt my hands, and even get in my face.
But when you take in an animal, you're not just doing it a favor, you're doing yourself an even bigger favor. For the price of food, litter, and occasional medical bills, you get a creature who will repay you a zillionfold in many ways. They're good companions, they have certain health benefits (I think they lower blood pressure and reduce stress and stuff... I'm sure there are medical articles that describe this), they keep your lap and bed warm, they're funny and entertaining, they're usually soft and fluffy and cute, they're happy to see you when you come home, etc. Animals are a great investment.
Though I was rather annoyed at Galahad this morning... He decided to randomly wake me up an hour before I had to get up, and then I couldn't fall back asleep because he sat next to the bed, licking an empty plastic bag for like 20 minutes. He's sweet and friendly, but he's one of the dumbest cats I've ever met. He likes licking plastic bags for some reason, and not even food bags. What is so tasty about a plain, plastic bag from Bed, Bath, and Beyond? He does this all the time. I keep the food bowls full, but whenever I refill them, he'll stuff his face as if he's never seen food before and then barf half of it up (usually on the carpet). The others know how to eat in moderation and usually prefer food, and they all keep their food down (though Yarmulke occasionally gets carsick). Well, he may have rocks for brains, but he's a good buddy, and that's what matters.