If you regularly use phrases like “bring home the bacon,” the animal activists at PETA want you to change your language. Apparently having decided that it’s been too long since they annoyed the crap out of America with their misguided attempts to put humans and animals on the same playing field, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a chart this week detailing some of the phrases that need to be excised from the American vocabulary.
“Stop using anti-animal language,” the group insists.
“Just as it became unacceptable to use racist, homophobic, or ableist language,” PETA tweeted on Tuesday, “phrases that trivialize cruelty to animals will vanish as more people begin to appreciate animals for who they are and start ‘bringing home the bagels’ instead of the bacon.”
PETA followed that up with another tweet saying: “Words matter. As our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves with it.”
To give us a little push in the right direction, the group came up with a list of common anti-animal phrases and suggested some neutral alternatives to put in their place.
So instead of saying, “Kill two birds with one stone,” Peta suggests saying, “Feed two birds with one scone.”
Instead of, “Be the guinea pig,” you might say, “Be the test tube.”
“Beat a dead horse”? Oh no, not on PETA’s watch. It is now preferred to say: “Feed a fed horse.”
Their final suggestion is to stop saying, “Take the bull by the horns” and replace it with, “Take the flower by the thorns.”
This is some pretty dumb stuff, but we have a pretty good notion that PETA does this kind of thing to get exactly the reaction they did get: Widespread mockery on social media…and a crap-ton of online headlines. They have long subscribed to the “any publicity is good publicity” motto, and they are experts at crafting a trolling campaign in just such a way that will get people talking.
In truth, we were more irritated with some of the reactions to PETA’s tweets than the tweets themselves. Not the mocking ones, those were perfectly fine. But some people were getting really mad about it. And you know exactly who it is we’re talking about.
We’re talking about people like Don Lemon on CNN, who told PETA to “take a seat” and quit stealing the spotlight from black and gay oppression.
We’re talking about writer Ira Madison III, who got on his soapbox to say: “PETA is always conflating their work with the struggles of black people, queer people, and other people of color. I’m so glad I just had steak for lunch.”
You might think that, just for a moment, these people might have a WAKE UP moment and think, “Jeez, am I this annoying when I go on about my so-called social justice issues?” Because the answer is yes, yes you are.
And the sad truth that you might not want to admit is that most of your “struggles” are just as trivial and self-created as the ones PETA is concerned with.