Animal rights organisation PETA recently compared usage of ‘anti-animal’ phrases in English language to racism, and Netizens are furious. According to the organisation, using meat-based idioms, like “flogging a dead horse” or “shooting fish in a barrel,” is same as calling a black person the N-word.
“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 said on Twitter. They also urged people to choose words wisely and provided a sample list with alternate idioms — something that did not go down well with people on the micro-blogging site.
One Twitter user shared a graphic showing a few possible alternatives to the expressions like “feed two birds with one scone,” instead of “kill two birds with one stone” and “being the guinea pig,” to say “be the test tube”.
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: Bringing Home the Bagels Since 1980 (@peta) December 4, 2018
This is absolutely absurd. To then compare these common phrases to historic homophobia and racism is just offensive. Peta, damaging animal rights movements since 1980 https://t.co/ztGqSUL6cH
— Alex (@alexanderchapps) December 6, 2018
I fixed it! Enjoy :) pic.twitter.com/Fc3nWn2jgo
— Lance Faltinsky (@lancefaltinsky) December 6, 2018
Animals aren’t offended by human language. I’m vegan and this is pointless.
— ScarsUnseen (@ScarsUnseen24) December 6, 2018
I love my pets and all animals. But this…This is just ridiculous.
— James Deakin (@jdeakin72) December 6, 2018
— Jen 🌙 (@jenniferlawx) December 6, 2018
Every vegan I know thinks this is ridiculous. As an animal lover I think it’s idiotic and Peta should stick to real animal welfare issues – this just puts everyone’s backs up and yet again Vegans bear the brunt of it. (Can I say ‘bear the brunt’? Oh I just did).
— Mara Fraser (@marafraserdotuk) December 6, 2018
Stop !!!! Making !!!! Us vegans !!!! Look !!!! Ridiculous !!!! You’re !!!!! Sabotaging!!!! The !!!! Movement !!!!! https://t.co/mCCEE9y6O0
— ❄️snowflake soph❄️ (@sophjbutler) December 6, 2018
“Take the flower by the horns” that’s cruelty to flowers. They have feelings too you know 😤 https://t.co/fxWmLThlNX
— Carl Harris (@CarlVinHarris) December 6, 2018
— Grant hodgson (@Ghodgy33) December 6, 2018
There’s something rotten in the spate of social justice language demands. Yes, friends. Yes, I slaughter a line from HAMlet. Or shall it soon be ‘Quornlet’? Is Mercutio still to be made worms’ meat of, or must he be leafmould? Eight wild garlic cloves roasted whole at breakfast? https://t.co/Z5seZ6DHz4
— Dannica Hertz (@DannicaHertz) December 6, 2018
Erm…… literally have no words 🤷🏽♀️, perhaps I’ll start being offended when people order black pudding for breakfast, or referring to coloured liquor as brown or even better, am sure there’s a way of finding chocolate chip ice cream offensive #isthisreallyhappeningtotheworld
— Alicia Jones (@AliciaJones1st) December 6, 2018
Well done PETA for even making me hate vegans and I’m a vegan. https://t.co/P3OW39alrq
— There Char (is a) lotte of crap Christmas names (@tinycharlotte72) December 5, 2018
I feel like PETA’s actual mission is to ensure that vegetarians and vegans are never taken seriously. I mean, they go onto compare this language to sexist/racist/homophobic slurs. https://t.co/ZpdagdfufK
— James Page (@pagie94) December 5, 2018
PETA introduced me to the term “speciesism” today which 1) is not a thing and 2) diminishes the legitimacy of racism, sexism and classism that many still don’t quite recognize. By all means, advocate for animals… but don’t co-opt those movements. https://t.co/FnwMIDxm6A
— joey (@joeygall) December 5, 2018
It’s a strong enough statement to say don’t be cruel to animals @peta I’m not saying people are more important than animals, but you appear to be saying that some people are the same as animals, and that’s what racists, homophobes and ableists say.
— Nicky Clark (@MrsNickyClark) December 5, 2018
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.
— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) December 5, 2018
Ya you’re right, words matter. But if someone cannot tell the difference between a metaphor and a literal statement then maybe words are not the problem. Also don’t compare these socially understood metaphors to racism and homophobia, they’re not on the same level. #Thankyounext
— Gerry Moss (@Gerrymoss21) December 5, 2018
— Claire G. Coleman (@clairegcoleman) December 5, 2018
PETA is really out here comparing someone being called a f*ggot to the use of the term ‘kill two birds with one stone’, ok https://t.co/OHyx6BZiLv
— matt horwood (@matthewhorwood) December 4, 2018
Hold your horses on this one PETA. You let the cat out of the bag as everyone knew about this elephant in the room. Now you’ll get a lion’s share of jokes made on twitter in December.
— The-Lying-Lama (@KyaUkhaadLega) December 5, 2018