PETA launches campaign to stop animal names such as pig, chicken and rat being used as insults

2 February 2021, 15:16

PETA want people to stop people using animal names as insults
PETA want people to stop people using animal names as insults. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

They want to stop people using rat, chicken and pig as insults to others as it 'reinforces the myth that humans are superior'.

PETA want people to stop using animal names as insults, and have started a campaign to promote a change in people's language.

According to the animal rights organisation, the use of words such as 'sloth', 'rat', 'chicken', 'snake' and 'pig' reinforces the myth that humans are superior.

They also believe that the use of these phrases 'normalises violence against other animals'.

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In a number of tweets posted last week, PETA outlined their beliefs and plans.

They wrote: "Words can create a more inclusive world, or perpetuate oppression.

"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."

PETA wants people to stop using pig, rat and snake as insults
PETA wants people to stop using pig, rat and snake as insults. Picture: Getty

They went on to add: "Anti-animal slurs degrade animals by applying negative human traits to certain species. Perpetuating the idea that animals are sly, dirty, or heartless desensitises the public and normalises violence against other animals.

"Speciesist language isn't just harmful, but it is also inaccurate.

"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.

"PETA urges everyone who believes in equality and justice to take a look at their personal beliefs and the language they use and break free of this outdated mindset that denigrates other animals."

Being called a snake can have connotations of being sneaky and untrustworthy
Being called a snake can have connotations of being sneaky and untrustworthy. Picture: Getty

The campaign has sparked a huge reaction, with many people arguing that animals can't be "oppressed" by human words because they don't understand them.

One women replied to the tweet with: "Animals aren't oppressed by those words because they don't understand our language. And have no concept of words and their meaning."

Another person, however, was on the side of PETA, and replied: "That isn't the point... The point is it reinforces speciesism in humans by maintaining the view that animals are less than."

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