Metaphoric Relationships with Pets

In: Society & Animals
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  • 1 UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

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Abstract

Using depth interviews and participant observation, the predominant metaphors that emerge in pet owners' relationships with theiranimals are pets as pleasures, problems, parts of self, members of the family, and toys. These metaphors as well as patterns of interacting with and accounting for pets, suggest vacillation between viewing companion animals as human and civilized and viewing them as animalistic and chaotic. It is argued that these views comprise a mixed metaphor needed to more fully understand our fascination with pets.

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