I love animals. They are angels too wholesome for this world, we don’t deserve them, and they absolutely deserve our utmost respect and care. But PETA’s latest stunt has taken it a bit too far. In a viral infographic, PETA made some feeble attempts at persuading people to “stop using anti-animal language.” Notably anti-animal phrases included “beat a dead horse,” that should be replaced with less harmful language. To PETA, “feed a fed horse” seems to be a more animal-conscious alternative. While there’s plenty wrong with this, let’s get the most notable challenge to PETA’s suggested alternative out of the way first. If you overfeed a horse, they can legitimately have problems with their hooves, go lame, or even die. Nice try, PETA, but feeding a fed horse seems to be quite anti-animal in itself.
There’s a bigger issue that arises with PETA’s reliance on pro-animal language, though. Their promotion of alternative language in a serious attempt to promote animal welfare is entirely problematic. It isn’t allowing us to discuss big issues in animal welfare, but rather causing the genuinely worrisome mistreatment of animals to become a laughing stock.
Frankly, I’m tired of interest groups and activists adopting new far-fetched overly-politically-correct agendas that only distract from the most important issues at hand. I’m a self-proclaimed liberal, but at the root of it all I just want single-payer healthcare, paid family leave, equitable opportunity for all, and higher expectations for my education system. Our thin skin is only distracting from real issues that people legitimately face. It seems that we become offended over every little slip of the tongue or every off-handed comment that we face through our day-to-day lives. That is precisely why liberals are often seen as snowflakes. Masking real issues by implementing ideas against “anti-animal language,” for example, only hinders progress.
The fact that PETA’s campaign here was entirely serious is precisely why conservatives consider us to be the people who often cry wolf (if that is an acceptable phrase to use nowadays.) But our true agendas are much more important. Of course, genuine exhibition of any prejudice should rightly be condemned. The loudest voices among liberals, though, are often the voices who take offense the most easily. Hypersensitivity is not doing us any good in any instance. It is only manifesting into rhetoric against us.
What we are doing wrong as liberals, then, is creating a hostile political environment in which discussion cannot ensue without resulting in some sort of offense. We cannot discuss the devastating impacts of true prejudice and bigotry, true hate crimes, true insensitivity, if we continue to take offense to everything that our opposition says. It seems to be time that we pick our battles and fight against the roots of discrimination and actual, genuine blows to our welfare. We need to turn to bigger problems. Otherwise, the trope of the liberal snowflake lives on.