Thanks for the vegan idioms, Peta, but there are bigger fish to fry | Jessica Brown
Trying to enforce non-meaty alternatives to phrases like ‘bring home the bacon’ will only harm the veganism cause
In 1801, Vice Admiral Nelson is said to have deliberately raised his telescope to his blind eye and insisted he couldn’t see a sign from his superior telling him to withdraw from the Battle of Copenhagen. This is where the phrase “turn a blind eye” is said to have originated. However, future idioms may not have such a colourful story of origin, thanks to those arguing we should rephrase those that mention meat and animals into anodyne, plant-based phrases.
The animal rights group Peta says that many common phrases in the English language perpetuate violence toward animals. The organisation caused a stir when it argued on Twitter that phrases such as “bring home the bacon” trivialise cruelty to animals, going so far as to compare such phrases to using racist, homophobic or ableist language. Peta encourages us to swap our linguistic assaults for phrases such as “bring home the bagels”, “take the flower by the thorn”, and “feed a fed horse” instead of “beat a dead horse” (which still sounds cruel to be honest). Peta isn’t the first to make this suggestion – a Reddit thread going back to 2015 offered suggestions for “veganised” idioms. But this time it coincides with a tribunal that will decide if veganism is akin to a religion, and therefore proponents can be discriminated against, after a vegan worker was sacked for misconduct.