The animal activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says using animal names as verbal insults is “supremacist language,” and is urging humans to stop using “anti-animal slurs.”
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. pic.twitter.com/HFmMWDcc5A
— PETA (@peta) January 26, 2021
The group argued in a tweet Tuesday that if you want to insult someone for their lack of bravery, call them a “coward” instead of a “chicken” because the term is demeaning to chickens.
“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 added in the tweet. “Stand up for justice by rejecting supremacist language.”
“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 wrote.
The group went on to denounce speciesist language in another tweet as “harmful and inaccurate,” describing pigs instead as “intelligent” and snakes as “clever.”
PETA shared the original tweet alongside a graph in which it suggested potential insults to use instead of an animal name.
The list included, jerk instead of snake, repulsive instead of pig and lazy rather than sloth.