Will it become a crime to use words like “catty” or names like “Gordon Gecko”?
Have you ever called a cowardly person a “chicken”? Or a devious person a “snake”? How about a disgusting person a “pig”? Well, PETA thinks using these animal words is “speciesist” and akin to using racial slurs and “supremacist language.”
“Calling humans various animal names is meant to sting, yet pigs, for instance, are intelligent, lead complex social lives, and show empathy for other pigs in distress,” explained PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “They have rescued drowning humans and alerted their guardians to fires.”
“Snakes are clever, have family relationships, and prefer to associate with their relatives rather than with strangers. If taken many miles away, they can find their way back home even if it takes two years,” Newkirk continued. “Dogs have personalities as varied and distinct as those of the humans who care for them. A dog living in a human home has been shown to understand, on average, some 400 words of human language simply from paying close attention.”
Rest assured, I am not quoting the Babylon Bee.Matt Margolis, “PETA’s New Campaign to Combat ‘Speciesist’ Language Is Hilarious” at PJ Media
All true, probably, and some of us write, with considerable respect, about animal intelligence. That said, if I (O’Leary for News) call a cruelly gossipy woman “catty,” I’m referring to a tendency well established in the species, just something to know. The woman could change; not sure if the cat can.
About the pigs, I will take their word for it, to avoid a useless conflict.
About the snakes, I am not going anywhere near to find out.
See also: Animal minds: In search of the minimal self