This article is within the scope of WikiProject Mammals, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of mammal-related subjects on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Random house dictionary defines vermin as "noxious, objectionable, or disgusting animals collectively". Calling an animal noxious and disgusting sounds very derogetory to me and is full of speciesism. Words like this is not appropriate for an encyclopedia. Even in the vermin page there have been questions raised on related issues by many users including me. We could use an alternative word without the derogetory tone at least, I suggest "pest". Smk65536 (talk) 03:52, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Pests are also "noxious, objectionable or disgusting", so your solution doesn't solve any problems. Further, the usual explanation for the reason that cats became domesticated (i.e., associated with humans) is that they controlled vermin that were attracted to stored food. There's no reason for us to deviate from the standard description. And you can't impose your penchant against "speciesism" here. We use the terms most people use when discussing something, we don't alter them to address political controversies that don't pertain. BTW, "speciesism" is the assumption of human superiority leading to the exploitation of animals. If anything, it's the cats that are the "victims" of speciesism here, not the vermin. Because food, water, companionship, shelter and all the mice you can eat is apparently exploitation. - Nunh-huh 04:40, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Where does it say that pests are also "noxious, objectionable or disgusting"? On dictionary.com it says "an annoying or troublesome person, animal, or thing; nuisance". This tone is far lighter than that of vermin. The speciesism I am describing is about using derogetory words to describe certain animals. The word "pest" is no less common. To address your aside, why are you portraying the beneficiaries of human activity as victims? Your argument is suggesting the victims are those harmed by cat ownership. Smk65536 (talk) 04:55, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Let's use real dictionaries instead of the Internet. In a real dictionary vermin is defined as "wild mammals and birds that are believed to be harmful to crops, farm animals or game, or that carry disease" or as "parasitic worms or insects". (This from the New Oxford American Dictionary.) It's not a term of abuse, it is exactly the correct technical term we want to use in this article. - Nunh-huh 05:04, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
dictionary.com is not a "fake dictionary" on the internet, it is based and partners with many paper dictionaries. The first definition is from Random House which is quite a prominent paper dictionary, whose meaning is clearly derogatory. Smk65536 (talk) 07:21, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
This is pointless semantics. "Vermin" is the correct term in this context, and there is nothing derogatory about it. Mediatech492 (talk) 14:04, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to believe so but the dictionary definition I gave says otherwise. This also matches my experience where vermin is often used as an insult. Smk65536 (talk) 14:47, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Mediatech492, vermin is the correct word to use here.--Asher196 (talk) 16:04, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I vote "pest." Most of our readers are going to assume "vermin" means cockroaches, mice, rats and other small disease-carrying animals. And besides, if "vermin" means animals that are "harmful to crops, farm animals or game," then just about all animals fit that category to one extent or another including dogs, farm animals, birds, deer, etc etc. People even. Rissa, Guild of Copy Editors (talk) 02:44, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
If that's what most of our readers assume, then they will have good reading comprehension and will have correctly understood what the theory says: that cats hunt disease-carrying animals and those that would deplete stores of human food. People, by the way, are not vermin. You know....except in the opinion of Hitler. - Nunh-huh 06:44, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
But if the word "pest" reduces ambiguity and the derogatory tone, then isn't it better? Your WWII example also points to a derogatory/racist usage of vermin.Smk65536 (talk) 16:41, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
The real problem is that "vermin" is vague, leaving it open to unintended interpretations such as that of Smk65536. This could be improved by replacing the word with a more precise phrase such as "rodents and other pests". As a minimal fix I have linked the term to the Vermin article so it is clear what the intended meaning is. Augurar (talk) 07:44, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't think there is anything vague about "Vermin" in the context given here. It is not in any way misleading. "Pest" is no improvement, if anything "Pest" is more vague and therefore an inferior alternative at best. Mediatech492 (talk) 18:36, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
"...a first- or second-century epitaph of a young girl holding a cat is one of two earliest depictions of..."
I can't find any definition of "epitaph", even in the Wikipedia article, that includes the possibility of a picture or other graphic.--220.127.116.11 (talk) 13:27, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
merriam-webster.com/ says: "An epitaph is the an inscription on or at a tomb or a grave in memory of the one buried there," so presumably it's a grave stone with a carved image of the girl and her cat plus whatever was written there. How about "engraving" in place of "epitaph"? Rissa, Guild of Copy Editors (talk) 02:13, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The section titled "Taxonomy and evolution" has this link: "Main article: Cat evolution." However, this doesn't link to a main article called "Cat Evolution," it links to Cat gap. There is a section here about cat evolution but it's very short, only three paragraphs plus one about the saber-tooth cat which isn't even related to the cat.
Is there supposed to be an article called "Cat Evolution" somewhere? I understand the importance of the "Cat Gap" but I'm left wondering what happened to cat evolution. Rissa, Guild of Copy Editors (talk) 02:03, 30 August 2015 (UTC)