The Jakarta Post
Animal rights organization PETA is embarking on a campaign to remove "speciesism" from people's daily conversations. (Shutterstock/alejandro dans neergard)
Animal rights organization PETA is embarking on a campaign to ban “speciesism”.
“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,” PETA tweeted on Tuesday, and posted a table displaying idioms considered harmful to animals, side by side with ones deemed friendlier.
An example is “kill two birds with one stone”, on the harmful side, as opposed to “feed two birds with one scone” on the friendly side.
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. pic.twitter.com/o67EbBA7H4— PETA: Bringing Home the Bagels Since 1980 (@peta) December 4, 2018
PETA went on to tweet that it is hoping to see phrases containing animal cruelty vanish taking a cue from racist, homophobic and ableist language that is becoming unacceptable.
“[…] phrases that trivialize cruelty to animals will vanish as more people begin to appreciate animals for what they are and start ‘bringing home the bagels’ instead of the bacon,” PETA tweeted, referring to the idiom “bring home the bacon”, which means to make a living.
PETA also expressed concern on their website, about the epidemic of youth violence against animals.
The organization is also attempting to spread awareness about animal cruelty idioms by offering child-friendly fun idioms cards.
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Regardless of PETA’s good intentions, Twitter users seem to perceive the initiative as controversial, sending negative or sarcastic replies. A user with the handle @FawningGirl, for example, tweeted, “Feed two birds with one scone. But birds can’t eat bread.”
"FEED TWO BIRDS WITH ONE SCONE" BUT BIRDS CAN'T EAT BREADS 🤣— Fawning Girl (@FawningGirl) December 6, 2018
Another Twitter user with the handle @AlpineHell tweeted that while PETA might mean well, the message seemed to put the struggle of people of different colors, sexuality and abilities, who are affected by actual slurs, on the same level as animals.
Yall running the media account probably meant well but this message really kind of seems to trivialize the struggles of people of different colors, sexualities, and abilities that are affected by actual slurs down to the same level as animals... BGOIG.— ⭐️CMDR. TΔI ⭐️ (@AlpineHell) December 6, 2018
Different opinions, however, were tweeted in support of PETA. One came from Twitter user @ExcitingOats who tweeted that it [PETA] did not say it was on the same level.
"[...] one can compare two similarities between two different things. [...] They are not trying to bring people down, but trying to bring animals, as sentient beings, a bit up," he tweeted.
They didn't say it's on the same level. One can compare two similarities between two different things. Because in this case ppl can normalize devaluing them both with language. They're not trying to bringing people down, but trying to bring animals, as sentient beings, a bit up.— Dan (@ExcitingOats) December 6, 2018