The internet appears to be locked in a strange one-sided debate with well known animal rights group PETA. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is no stranger to controversy - from Twitter feuds with all and sundry to protests that have triggered for their choice of outfits or lack thereof. And so, when the organisation recently announced that it was taking on the evils of "speciesism", social media was not pleased.
"Eating animals is speciesist," the US-based organisation tweeted on Wednesday. This was apparently not self-explanatory, and a definition followed in the next post.
"Speciesism is the human-supremacist belief that one species is more important than another. All animals share the capacity to feel pain, hunger, fear, love, loneliness, and joy, and have as much interest in freedom and staying alive as humans do. #EndSpeciesism" the organisation insisted.
But lest the vegetarians reading this article feel relieved, PETA says that "plants matter too". The obvious solution of course is to go vegan. "We can harm fewer plants by going vegan, because eating plants directly, rather than feeding them to animals and then killing those animals for their flesh, requires far fewer plants and hurts fewer animals," the organisation explained in response to a Twitter comment.
PETA's efforts to "end speciesism" did not begin with this post. A day earlier, the organisation had taken to Twitter pointing out that many specie names were given negative connotations. To be a chicken for example, also meant that one was a coward.
"Words can create a more inclusive world, or perpetuate oppression. Calling someone an animal as an insult reinforces the myth that humans are superior to other animals & justified in violating them. Stand up for justice by rejecting supremacist language," tweeted PETA on January 26.
In a series of posts that remain pinned on it's Twitter profile, the organisation explained that such languaged perpetuated a misconception and could desensitize the public and "normalise violence against other animals". It was also, they said, inaccurate.
More recently, PETA has decided to take it's campaign against "speciesism" a few steps further. The organisation says that it now asking well known Dictionaries and online platforms to join its fight by "removing derogatory definitions of pigs, snakes and dogs".
We remain uncertain as to whether this has evinced any results thus far.
Social media users however are not amused or convinced by PETA's efforts. Even as the animal rights group pushed for people to turn vegan (or at least stop eating animals) Twitter users decided to go out of their way to share their carnivorous tendencies with the organisation. With this being a direct response to PETA's efforts, many have opted to showcase meaty delicacies in all their glory.
But if you're someone who feels uncomfortable with the idea of your meal having once been another animal, we'd advise you to exercise caution while scrolling through the pictures below.
Read on at your own peril: