Torie Bosch loves her two cats, don't get her wrong. But don't call her a "pet parent," as the ever-growing pet care industry thinks you should. "Pet owner" is just fine, thanks, she writes at Slate. Bosch thinks those who have bought into the marketing campaign and adopted the phrase—yes, there's now even a Pet Parent's Day brought to you by Veterinary Pet Insurance—"have been indoctrinated."
While she and her husband dote on their cats and make sure they're happy, "that isn't parenting," Bosch writes. "Parenting prepares a human being to live and thrive in the real world without the constant guidance of a mother or father." She doesn't expect her cats to be moving into their own place anytime soon. They give her "affection, comfort, and warmth" when she needs it, and she indulges them in return, "but that isn’t a parent-child relationship. It’s a pet-pet owner relationship." Click for her full column. (Read more pets stories.)