Today, PETA responded to Twitter’s call for feedback on a proposed new policy that would prohibit users from posting tweets containing “dehumanizing language” with a letter wholeheartedly endorsing the policy, but for two reasons, not one.
PETA notes that using expressions that suggest that humans are superior and that it’s somehow demeaning to be compared to nonhuman animals—who live complex, meaningful lives without soiling the environment or waging wars—is supremacist and speciesist. To attempt to disparage fellow human beings by calling them “a pig” or “a snake,” for example, has repercussions that extend far beyond the hurtful intention of the words. This language normalizes violence against nonhuman individuals and desensitizes otherwise decent humans to their suffering.
Twitter has announced a new policy meant to ban “dehumanizing” speech, or language that treats someone as “less than human” https://t.co/sS3Wyl4Jt7 pic.twitter.com/MB0xeJiHhM
— New York Post (@nypost) September 26, 2018
“The words we choose and the way we phrase things influence how humans and nonhumans are regarded and treated,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Given that it’s a biological fact that we are all animals, PETA urges people to stop using language that denigrates others who happen not to be human, and we commend Twitter for doing the same.”
Learn how you can use language to advocate for all animals, human or otherwise, in this quick, insightful video: