The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is insisting that people change their language in an effort to “remove speciesism” from daily conversation.
PETA wants people to stop using common sayings that include what the activist group calls “anti-animal language.” These types of sayings would be “take the bull by the horns” and “kill two birds with one stone.” PETA wants people to instead change those sayings to something like “take the flowers by the thorns” and “feed two birds with one scone.”
“Just as it became unacceptable to use racist, homophobic, or ableist language, 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 says in a statement on Twitter.
One of the sayings that catches your attention is the change of “beat a dead horse” to “feed a fed horse.” The new saying from PETA implies that horses should be overfed which is a recipe for disaster. PETA may not be aware but if you overfeed a horse it can cause such problems as founder and colic, which can be death sentences for horses. Sorry for “beating a dead horse” to those who already know that.
The list of various sayings PETA wants to change can be read in the following Tweet:
Following the announcement PETA was blasted by Twitter users. Here are a sampling of responses to the suggested changes to people’s colloquialisms:
In 2014, Peta killed 2,324 of the 2,626 animals it aquired and had a 1% adoption rate. This is what happens when you “bring home the bagels”?— J Avner (@J_Avner) December 6, 2018
Pick your battles, PETA. There’s bigger fish to fry.— Euan Purchase ⛄️ (@euanspc) December 4, 2018
So I’m supposed to grab a flower by the thorns? What about my fingers? Or what about the flowers feelings?— Andrew Schlanser (@AndrewSchlanser) December 5, 2018
You advocate using scones? 2 cups cake flour, more as needed— HEA-LibertyHawk (@HLibertyhawk) December 5, 2018
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
½ to ¾ cup heavy cream ——- do you think that birds really want to eat their own eggs? GROSS!!
I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, sound too pig headed, but want to address the elephant in the room, there is more than one way to skin a cat.— Mike (@mcaruso1) December 4, 2018
Irresponsible language to be encouraging flower picking, thorned or otherwise, in the midst of bee crisis. Language matters!— Daniel Kreel (@Dkreel) December 5, 2018
So @PETA has a beef with the English language now? Not sure what's at steak here? A group whose meat and potatoes is animal welfare would have bigger fish to fry. Are they ducking real issues because their chicken or do they just not want to end up with egg on their face? https://t.co/IxXSBLflCl— Mike From Woburn (@MikeFromWoburn) December 5, 2018
The announcement didn’t go unnoticed for comedians either with Stephen Colbert lampooning the recommended phrases with his own corrections. One of the funnier changes suggested by Colbert was to alter “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” to instead be “there are three ways to skin a cat, but that’s not really ‘first date’ conversation.”
Watch the segment on PETA from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in the following YouTube video: