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For the dogs PETA urges people not to call others 'dogs', 'snakes' or 'pigs' as it's insulting to animals

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants these insults to be removed from every day use as they perpetuate the idea that animals are stupid, ugly or cowardly.

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People should not call each other names like “dog”, “snake” or “pig” as it is unfair to them and to animals, an animal rights organisation has said.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants these insults to be removed from everyday use as they perpetuate the idea that animals are stupid, ugly or cowardly.

The group says companies including the likes of Collins English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster can help combat “speciesism” and reduce animal abuse by removing definitions that are seen to be derogatory.

"When we call people 'chicken', 'rat' or pig' as insults, it's a form of bullying that's hurtful to other humans,” Jennifer White, PETA's senior media officer, told Newstalk Breakfast.

"But on the flipside, it also perpetuates this idea that animals are stupid, ugly or cowardly - which is just completely inaccurate.

"I know you might be thinking, 'well, they're only words', but we know that words matter - words shape our attitudes and our behaviours.

"And if our language perpetuates negative, untrue stereotypes about animals, then it makes easier for humans to discount them and to mistreat them as well.”

However, complimentary phrases such as referring to your son as wise as an owl “are fine” Ms White added, “it’s the ones which are untrue: for example sloths - their name comes from the word slow.

"But when you say someone's a sloth, you're usually saying that they're lazy - but sloths can't be lazy, they're slow for survival.

"So, it's just all about changing our perceptions of these animals, and also just thinking about the words that we're using".

Even though animals, of course, cannot hear human insults, Ms White pointed out: “We are not saying that animals are offended by the words that human's use.

"But we need to remember just because they don't hear what we're saying, doesn't mean they don't feel the pain that is inflicted on them as a result of our perceptions about animals."

"If you're constantly using words that are negative and untrue to describe these animals, then it changes how you think about them.”

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