4 April 2021

“Animals Deserve Gender Pronouns, Too” by NPR’s Scott Simon, April 3, 2021

“Referring to animals in personal terms may help us recognize how much of life we share.” — Scott Simon, Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR

On March 26, United Poultry Concerns posted “Groups Urge Associated Press to Update Animal Pronouns.” It features an Open Letter, initiated by In Defense of Animals, urging The Associated Press to update its pronoun recommendations for nonhuman animals from “what” to “who.” For decades, the AP’s Stylebook recommendations on the use of personal pronouns for nonhuman animals have cast animals as “it,” “which,” and similar demeaning and inaccurate designations that influence media coverage and public perception.

Signed by more than 80 respected leaders and scholars in animal advocacy and conservation across the globe who support this change including Dr. Jane Goodall, this letter, joined by United Poultry Concerns, captured the attention of esteemed National Public Radio writer and broadcaster Scott Simon, who posted this opinion piece saying that NPR should be on the frontlines of evolving our language about animals.

What Can I Do?

Please THANK Scott Simon for his supportive opinion piece on behalf of nonhuman animals and the importance of representing them in our speech and writing with respectful personal pronouns, including “she,” “he,” and “who.”

Contact Scott Simon through his show Weekend Edition Saturday:
  Contact an NPR show or podcast.

Contact NPR’s Public Editor on Ethics:
  Ask the Public Editor about ethics.

Please note that you do NOT need to enter the “Link or URL to Story” to successfully submit your message. However, you do need to complete all parts of the form that are starred (*) including the name of the show where it says I’m Writing About*. The name of the show is “Animals Deserve Gender Pronouns, Too.”

Read Scott Simon's opinion piece:

Animals Deserve Gender Pronouns, Too

Carissa kissing Akachan
Carissa kissing Akachan. Photo by Laurelee Blanchard