Could animal insults go the way of the dodo?
Animal-loving company PETA is asking us to stop using animal terms to insult each other, such as calling someone 'chicken' if they’re scared or a 'rat' if they dob on us.
Instead, PETA want us to use alternative words like 'cowardly' instead of chicken or 'snitch' instead of rat.
PETA says calling someone an animal as an insult “reinforces the myth that humans are superior to other animals” and makes us think it’s okay to be aggressive and violent towards them.
Words can create a more inclusive world, or perpetuate oppression.— PETA (@peta) January 26, 2021
Calling someone an animal as an insult reinforces the myth that humans are superior to other animals & justified in violating them.
Stand up for justice by rejecting supremacist language. pic.twitter.com/HFmMWDcc5A
Not only that, but they’re upset we’re applying negative human traits to animals that simply aren’t true.
Speciesist language isn’t just harmful, but it is also inaccurate.— PETA (@peta) January 26, 2021
Pigs, for instance, are intelligent, lead complex social lives, and show empathy for other pigs in distress. Snakes are clever, have family relationships, and prefer to associate with their relatives.
While people agreed that words can have meaning, they weren't necessarily convinced that using animal insults were causing harm to animals.
Great stuff. Can't read it now but I'll squirrel this away for later. My wife is hounding me to do chores instead of horsing around on Twitter.— based bitcoin ninja (@MrButterChicken) January 28, 2021
At least PETA is okay with us using animal terms to compliment someone, so just choose your animal descriptions wisely.
Calling someone an animal should only ever be used as a compliment - saying someone is "clever as a fox" or "hardworking as an ant" is great! 💚— PETA (@peta) February 5, 2021