Those animal-rights activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are at it again. They’ve had it with people using animals as derogatory slurs, such as calling someone a “pig,” a “snake” or a “dog.” And they want us all to stop.

“Words can create a more inclusive world, or perpetuate oppression,” PETA tweeted this week. “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.”

So, for example, instead of calling someone a “chicken,” you can call them a “coward.” Instead of calling someone a “rat,” simply call them a “snitch” instead. You get the picture.

Whether they’re just fishing for free publicity, or simply offering up bull on a larger scale than normal, the folks at PETA have upped their game a bit. We wouldn’t want you to get skunked, either, so we’re telling you what to expect next from the crabby folks at PETA.

Here’s a helpful lesson from PETA’s Twitter page about pigs and snakes: “Pigs, for instance, are intelligent, lead complex social lives, and show empathy for other pigs in distress. Snakes are clever, have family relationships, and prefer to associate with their relatives.”

I had no idea that calling out Uncle Harold at Thanksgiving for his fifth helping of stuffing by calling him a “pig” would offend so many of those complicated porkers down on the farm. And I think I’ve just been triggered by the thought that snakes travel in families.

Don’t tell my wife.

PETA is calling upon the world’s favorite dictionaries – Merriam-Webster,, The American Heritage Dictionary, Collins English Dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary and – to lead the way in changing the way society uses animals as slurs.

“This is why we’re urging such resources to remove harmful definitions, like Merriam-Webster’s pig (“a dirty, gluttonous, or repulsive person”), snake (“a worthless or treacherous fellow”), and dog (“a worthless or contemptible person”), pointing out that lending credence to such inaccurate descriptions fuels speciesism, a human-supremacist attitude that slights, insults, and denigrates other animals,” PETA wrote on its website.

I’m not sure I could even spell “speciesism” without looking it up, let alone be able to define it for you in any understandable way. And I don’t recall my dog ever accusing me of being a “human-supremacist” to my face, although there was that time he destroyed the carpet when I wasn’t home.

I think I called him a *dog* at the time. What I meant to say is that he was an uncouth disrespecter of my personal space.

And don’t go fishing for more animal references from me. I’m feeling sheepish already.

Photo from Twitter