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Bone of Contention: Exploring the Uses of Humor in Arguments about the Pet Guardianship Issue
Unformatted Document Text:  35 hope you would leave livestock alone and let horses and pigs and cows and stuff be owned. Thank you. [Speaker 10] Erin: [her nametag says Guardian] Erin Russel. I live at 1544 Greenbriar Court in Boulder. And I live with two canines, Indy and Hobo, who could not be here tonight so I will speak on their behalf. ((Exhalation laugh by someone)) And on behalf of all the animals I’ve had the privilege of loving and sharing my life with. I am a professional dog walker and:: pet nanny and I‘m also speaking for all my clients when I say that we consider our animal friends to be full fledged members of our families. Um, in that vein I’d like to share some interesting statistics with you that I came (.) across. One is a survey by the American Animal Hospital (.) Association of 1,019 pet (.) owners. ((uses hands to make double quotes gesture with the word “owners”)) >I wish it said guardians but it doesn’t.< Um, in the United States and Canada and what it reported is that 80% . of the pet (.) owners ((small wave of right hand)) give their pets (.) holiday or birthday gifts. 77% regards themselves as parents or guardians of their pets and 54% would prefer their pets’ company (.) over that of a human if trapped on a deserted island ((sustained laughter, particularly from male member of audience)) Unidentified female voice: What’s the percentage? Erin: ((small smile, brief shaking of head from side to side, pushes hair behind ear)) 54%. Another study found that (.) 88% said that they would risk injury or death to save their pet’s life. And 66% strongly agreed that their pets were like children to them. This hardly sounds like property to me. We’ve taken dogs and cats out of the wild and brought them into our homes. And so we have a duty to protect them (.) as they have protected us for thousands of years. And that duty is guardianship. We should acknowledge the special relationship we have with our animal companions (.) and we

Authors: Evans, Janet.
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35
hope you would leave livestock alone and let horses and pigs and cows and stuff be
owned. Thank you.
[Speaker 10]
Erin:
[her nametag says Guardian]
Erin Russel. I live at 1544 Greenbriar
Court in Boulder. And I live with two canines, Indy and Hobo, who could not be here
tonight so I will speak on their behalf. ((Exhalation laugh by someone)) And on behalf of
all the animals I’ve had the privilege of loving and sharing my life with. I am a
professional dog walker and:: pet nanny and I‘m also speaking for all my clients when I
say that we consider our animal friends to be full fledged members of our families. Um,
in that vein I’d like to share some interesting statistics with you that I came (.) across.
One is a survey by the American Animal Hospital (.) Association of 1,019 pet (.) owners.
((uses hands to make double quotes gesture with the word “owners”)) >I wish it said
guardians but it doesn’t.< Um, in the United States and Canada and what it reported is
that 80% . of the pet (.) owners ((small wave of right hand)) give their pets (.) holiday or
birthday gifts. 77% regards themselves as parents or guardians of their pets and 54%
would prefer their pets’ company (.) over that of a human if trapped on a deserted island
((sustained laughter, particularly from male member of audience))
Unidentified female voice: What’s the percentage?
Erin: ((small smile, brief shaking of head from side to side, pushes hair behind ear))
54%. Another study found that (.) 88% said that they would risk injury or death to save
their pet’s life. And 66% strongly agreed that their pets were like children to them. This
hardly sounds like property to me. We’ve taken dogs and cats out of the wild and
brought them into our homes. And so we have a duty to protect them (.) as they have
protected us for thousands of years. And that duty is guardianship. We should
acknowledge the special relationship we have with our animal companions (.) and we


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