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Students have their say as PETA releases list of ‘speciest’ phrases

PETA has tweeted a list of phrases they want people to stop using, saying they promote ‘speciesism’ and animal cruelty. We asked students what they thought of the changes.

The tweet on 4 December was met with backlash and ridicule, with many people saying the suggested alternatives didn’t make sense, and that there was no point in replacing decades-old sayings and colloquialisms.

Cameron Sidhu, 21, a maths student at University of Nottingham weighed in: “It’s unnecessary, the words and metaphors we use don’t instantly endorse hatred or violence towards a group. “

“They’re just useful bits of language we have used for decades to quickly get our points across,”  he continued.

“And call me old fashioned but I don’t want decade old phrases to be thrown out because an over the top group think they somehow lead to violence against animals.”

“Honestly it’s my conspiracy theory that PETA is actually funded by like, a lobbying group for the meat industry to discredit vegans,” said Will Rayner, a graphic design student from Nottingham Trent University.

Hazel Bergeron-Stokes, a vegetarian and sociology student from the University of Nottingham also disagrees with the list.

“It completely invalidates all the work done by people to abolish language that is actually harmful and actually offensive. What are they doing, are they trying to equate saying ‘bringing home the bacon’ with the n-word?”

Many people also used the tweet as an opportunity to call out PETA’s prior actions, with many mentioning that PETA is ‘not only responsible for the deaths of more than 13,744 animals over the last 13 years but that it encourages pounds to kill even more’.

“It’s a huge PR stunt,” says Jacqui Hamilton, 21, a Politics and International Relations student.

“PETA knows what they’re doing, they know it will cause a reaction.

“It’s a distraction from all the dogs they’ve been killing.”

PETA followed up the tweet by stating: “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.”

By Katie Ansell

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