Words Matter! It’s Time to Start Using Personal Pronouns for ALL Animals
PETA sent a letter requesting that London-based Usborne Publishing modernise the language in its beloved children’s book series That’s Not My … to refer to animals – who are living, feeling individuals – as “he” or “she” instead of using the inanimate pronoun “it” – and as of now, two weeks later, the group still hasn’t received a response from the publishing house.
PETA’s letter to Usborne Publishing is available here.
Referring to animals as objects only serves to widen the perceived but non-existent gulf between us and them. Using language that shows respect for every living, feeling being can help end speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.
Animals are intelligent, feeling individuals capable of joy and suffering. They’re not here so that we can exploit them, and our language must evolve to reflect this.
Just last year, PETA US encouraged people to consider the power of words through a viral campaign aiming to end the use of idioms connoting cruelty to 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. pic.twitter.com/o67EbBA7H4
— PETA (@peta) December 4, 2018
Remove Speciesism From Your Daily Conversations
The words that we use have the power to influence those around us. Our society has worked hard to eliminate racist, homophobic, and ableist language and the prejudices that usually accompany it, but we must also address the pervasive speciesism.
Choose words that show respect, do not normalise abuse and exploitation. And tell those around you that our words matter.