On Twitter earlier this week, the animal activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urged the public to stop using animal names as verbal insults because it is “supremacist language.”
“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,” PETA tweeted. “Stand up for justice by rejecting supremacist language.”
Fact check: while animal abuse is utterly unacceptable, humans are superior to animals.
“Anti-animal slurs degrade animals by applying negative human traits to certain species. Perpetuating the idea that animals are sly, dirty, or heartless desensitizes the public and normalizes violence against other animals.”
PETA suggested calling someone a “coward” instead of a “chicken,” for example, because the term is demeaning to chickens.
“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.”
Fair enough, but are pigs and snakes really upset about the opinions of humans?