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?
Perhaps some civil rights activists should stop trying to change the world and start reading a dictionary. Here is the actual definition of the word guardian.
1 : one that guards : custodian
2 : one who has the care of the person or property of another
Notice that the word guardian implies oversight of property or custodianship. What, you ask does custodianship mean?
one that guards and protects or maintains; especially : one entrusted with guarding and keeping property or records or with custody or guardianship of prisoners or inmates
Notice again that implicit within the meaning is the concept of ownership or of property.
It all means the same thing at a philisophical level; pet owner, pet guardian, pet custodian
Beyond the philisophical lets look at the practical. Most people who OWN a pet OWN that pet because some money changed hands. Either to a breeder or in the form of a spay fee or donation at the local clinic. Since money changed hands then the object (living or otherwise) becomes property. Further, There is no movement among owned pets to change their status as there once was among slaves to become free, or among women for equal pay or among coal miners for safe work rules. As soon as I see a picket line of felines protesting their status then perhaps I will change my mind. I would however suggest one status change. These animal rights activists should henceforth be called protestus overmuches of the sub family Publicus nusances.
Last thought to consider... The power of a name comes from the power one holds over another. A parent holds power of a child and so gives it a name. Man holds power of nature by giving it a name. A person who changes his name is only claiming power of his identity. We deride those we feel to be inferior by giving them slanderous names. In societies where chattel slavery existed it was common to change the name of a slave in order to deprive that slave of the power of having his own name. Ergo, in trying to change the word, the activists are in fact displaying their own sense of power over the so called victimized pet. And that is poor guardianship.