"PETA should have several seats," sassy news anchor Don Lemon said on CNN news last night after the animal rights groups tweeted that using anti-animal language is equivalent to racism, ableism, and homophobia.
The animal activist organization claimed that using idioms such as "beat a dead horse" trivializes cruelty toward animals and is a form of "speciesism." Instead, we should use animal-friendly adaptations, such as "feed a fed horse."
\u201cJust 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 \u2018bringing home the bagels\u2019 instead of the bacon.\u201d
PETA's tweets spawned a backlash from queers and people of color, who were quick to note that first and foremost, animals don't understand human language, and thus, cannot be offended. Second, that systemic violence against people of color, queer communities, and the differently abled are far worse than saying something like, "Take the bull by the horns." Conflating the two trivializes the plight of marginalized groups who experience discrimination and threats of violence on a daily basis.
\u201cThanks for trivialising centuries of oppression imposed upon queer people like myself, PETA. Next time someone calls me a faggot on the street, I'll be sure to think of all the birds being figuratively killed by stones and realise how unimportant my problems really are.\u201d
\u201c@peta Hi, I'm a queer and disabled human who loves my animals dearly and I think it's pretty fucking gross to compare homophobia and ableism to animal cruelty. I'm white and can't experience racism so I'll stay in my lane there, but seriously, PETA, wtf.\u201d