PETA Wants Us to Stop Using 'Anti-Animal Language'
Instead of bacon, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants us to "bring home the bagels." Instead of "killing two birds with one stone," why not feed them a scone?
In a tweet on Tuesday, the animal rights group called out the "speciesism" of our everyday conversations in order to encourage compassion for animals. They also included an infographic of their suggested alternatives.
Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to… https://t.co/X893u2zPhH— PETA (@PETA)1543958601.0
PETA suggests that such idioms should be phased out just like how it has become "unacceptable to use racist, homophobic, or ableist language."
The comments immediately made headlines, with some people criticizing the organization for equating common sayings with the struggles of marginalized communities.
Shermichael Singleton, a contributing host of "Consider It" on Vox Media, said PETA's tweet was "extremely ignorant."
@peta @peta - This tweet is extremely ignorant. To compare “anti-animal language” to racism is blatantly irresponsi… https://t.co/Wkb5IykRXc— Shermichael Singleton (@Shermichael Singleton)1544032017.0
Journalist Monique Judge also wrote on The Root: "It is utterly and egregiously offensive to make the comparison you have made. Racist language is inextricably tied to racism, racial terrorism and racial violence. No matter how you try to twist it, it is not the same thing as using animals in a turn of phrase or enjoying a BLT."
Other critics have said that PETA's own suggested phrases are bad for animals. For instance, feeding scones to birds can harm them and feeding a horse that's already fed would be overfeeding. Another person said that pulling a flower by its thorns kills the flower.
"Animals are sacred but plants don't count?" a Twitter user chimed.
@peta I have a few follow up questions. Why would feed a bird scones? Couldn’t bring home the bagels be seen as a… https://t.co/vIfxz3NW21— Verikey (@Verikey)1544016258.0
EcoWatch asked PETA for a comment on the varied responses to their tweet. A spokesperson emailed us back with a previously released statement:
Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Just as it became unacceptable to use racist, homophobic, or ableist language, phrases that trivialize cruelty to animals will vanish as more people begin to appreciate animals for who they are and start "bringing home the bagels" instead of the bacon.
With so much negativity in the world, why not lighten up, smile a little more, and use language in a way that encourages being kind to animals?
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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