By: V4 Agency
People should no longer call others chickens or rats, because these “animal slurs” denigrate animals and go a long way in suggesting human superiority. Animal rights activists want to change this attitude and eradicate the principle of what they have described as speciesism.
US animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) advocates a more inclusive and enlightened language use. In a recent tweet, the organisation talked about how people can create an even more inclusive world with their words, but of course, their main focus was on animals. They stressed that using anti-animal slurs to highlight human superiority degrades animals.
According to PETA, “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,” the tweet reads.
For example, instead of “chicken” people should say “coward,” instead of “rat” they should say “snitch,” and instead of “pig,” they should use the term “repulsive.”
The animal rights activists say that speciesism, an attitude that suggests that humans are superior to animals, also poses a serious issue, allowing people to perpetuate oppression. In a series of follow-up tweets, the organisation warns that anti-animal slurs degrade animals by applying negative human traits to certain species.
PETA points out that 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.
The animal protection group 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in equality and justice to take a look at their personal beliefs and the language they use, and break free of this outdated mindset that denigrates animals.
In response to PETA’s call, many users noted that animals don’t really understand human language, so words don’t really hurt or insult them. Others pointed out that it would be mistaken to believe that humans are not superior to fish or worms.