There are a million steps necessary to build a healthier, more compassionate and more sustainable world. One big one is to seek ways to bring dignity to the other species with whom we share the planet. One way to do this is to stop referring to individual animals as "it". "It" has been the common pronoun for animals for ages, and one key vehicle that keeps this language in use is the Associated Press Stylebook, which is the language and style guide used by many of the top news organizations.
Now a group of 80 animal advocates led by Dr. Jane Goodall (and including Marla and John from Vegan Street) have co-signed a letter to the editor of the Stylebook entreating them to grant animals, including farmed animals, the dignity of gender specific pronouns like "he" and "she" or "they" when their gender is unknown. Obviously, dairy-producing cows and egg-laying hens, are all "she" and they deserve to be acknowledged as such. Referring to the animals most people eat by their genders is one more step to recognizing them as individuals who deserve to be acknowledged as opposed to "things" with no purpose other than to be killed and eaten.
This story comes from an episode of Weekend Edition from National Public Radio.