The worlds of carnivores, vegans and veggies united this week, for the strangest of reasons. American animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called for an end to ‘speciesism’ and Twitter was having none of it.
PETA has become known for shock tactics and publicity stunts in its efforts to further the cause of animal welfare. People often agree with their end aims but not their tactics or message and that sure seemed the case recently.
The organisation went on the attack against language and common expressions and offered some alternatives to common expressions, ones that wouldn’t insult animals:
“Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations.”
Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations. pic.twitter.com/o67EbBA7H4— PETA (@peta) December 4, 2018
So far, so 'pardon?'. The follow up tweet drew unfortunate comparisons to racist, homophobic and ableist language, which proved highly problematic for people.
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 (@peta) December 4, 2018
Twitter was having none of it. From the offended to the snarky to the downright hilarious, the Twitterverse came for PETA in a big way.
Some were deeply offended at the comparison to racism and homophobia, others - including quite a few vegans and vegetarians - were not on board with PETA's logic.
And some people just went at it with the puns and excellent word play.
Some queried the logic of PETA's alternative phrases:
But perhaps US journalist Lauren Duca put it best with this one: