Stop Calling Animals "It"

  • by: Megan Drake
  • target: Associated Press Stylebook Editors

Language is fluid; it is ever-evolving. It’s okay to make changes to grammar when the times and attitudes progress.

It's time to stop calling animals "it."

The Current AP Stylebook tells us: "Do not apply a personal pronoun to an animal unless its sex has been established or the animal has a name.”  Extrapolate that to mean a dog named Harry is a “he”, a mare (female horse) is a “she” and a wild turkey is an “it.”


NO animals should ever be called "it." 


This type of "rule" only serves to support the incorrect assumption that animals are less important, have less value to society, and have less rights to life and happiness than human ones. That needs to change.


Please revise the AP Stylebook to reflect animals should be referred to "s/he" when the gender is unknown.

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