La vaca quien…

MELBOURNE – El mes pasado, un cabestro se escapó de un matadero en el barrio de Queens en la ciudad de Nueva York. Un video del animal yendo al trote por una calle congestionada pronto apareció en muchos medios de comunicación. Para aquellos a quienes les importan los animales, la historia tiene un final feliz: el cabestro fue capturado y llevado a un refugio, donde pasará el resto de su vida natural.

Para mí, sin embargo, el aspecto más interesante de la historia fue el lenguaje que los medios utilizaron para referirse al animal. El New York Times publicó un titular que decía: "Una vaca, quien escapó de un matadero de Nueva York, encuentra refugio" (Cow Who Escaped New York Slaughterhouse Finds Sanctuary). Los defensores de los animales han luchado mucho tiempo contra la convención de reservar el "quien" para la gente y utilizar el "que" para los animales. No todos los idiomas hacen esta distinción, pero en inglés, referirse a "la vaca que escapó" parece negar la voluntad del animal. Todos diríamos "el prisionero, quien escapó" (the prisoner who escaped) pero "la roca que rodó por la colina" (the rock that rolled down the hill).

Sería prematuro concluir que el artículo del New York Times indica un cambio en el uso. Más bien, parece mostrar incertidumbre, ya que la primera línea del artículo se refiere a "Una vaca que fue capturada por la policía".

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