Let me get this out of the way: I have made an effort to change some of my own habits when it comes to violent animal language. And if you think hurting animals for human pleasure is kind of a fucked up thing to do, perhaps you should consider it too. When you choose to treat nonhuman animals with basic respect and dignity, talking about beating their dead bodies just doesn’t sit well. It may not hurt animals directly, but casually referring to them as if their pain is meaningless is part of the culture that allows animal cruelty to thrive. PETA’s playful suggestions for what phrases to use instead of the sad ones drew the most laughs, but I thought they were cute and I am definitely going to use “bringing home the bagels” from now on.
I trust that most people mocking PETA don’t want billions of animals to live lives full of pain, and deep down they understand that the way we treat animals in factory farms is indefensibly immoral — not to mention the vast environmental consequences of the meat industry, or the slaughterhouse workers coping with post-traumatic stress disorder. But y’all really like the way meat tastes, and rather than follow your empathy to its natural conclusion, you’d rather look away and snicker at the silly vegans.