“Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations,” tweeted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Tuesday, in what I originally assumed was a joke.

Attached to the tweet was a graphic encouraging people to “stop using anti-animal language”.

Instead of saying “kill two birds with one stone,” the image suggests saying “feed two birds with one scone.”

And rather than “bring home the bacon,” the animal rights organisation recommends “bring home the bagels.”

“Just as it became unacceptable to use racist, homophobic, or ableist language, phrases that trivialize cruelty to animals will vanish as more people begin to appreciate animals for who they are and start ‘bringing home the bagels’ instead of the bacon,” PETA tweeted.

But those are absolutely not the same thing.

I’m all for the ethical treatment of animals, but there’s no way that phrases like “take the bull by the horns” and “be the guinea pig” are even remotely comparable to the racism, homophobia, and ableism that people go through.

“Hi, @peta. As someone who has had homophobic slurs shouted at him and seen individuals physically threatened and beaten while anti-LGBTQ epithets were hurled, your stupidity is not even laughable — it is offensive to equate common animal idioms to racism, ableism, or homophobia,” one user tweeted.

“Do you ever wonder if PETA is a false flag set up by Big Meat to make everyone hate vegans?” another user questioned.  

While it’s admirable that PETA exhibits this deep of a commitment to an issue, we as a society should probably dismantle racism, homophobia, and ableism before we worry about “speciesism”.


Photo by Casey DeViese on Unsplash

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