Suddenly half the published items on this website are derailed by debates over animal name calling and animals calling names. It is almost silly enough to laugh off, but seriously - stop it!
I've only known one actual pig in my life, and he barely spoke english. I'm almost certain he couldn't read - at least not at the indymedia level. I actually forwarded this thread to him, you know, wanting to hear his opinion. Nothing. I don't think he minds. Great guy though.
A German Shepard/Boxer friend of mine did recently text me his response to all this. He said "I'm all for people using metaphors. Its actually creepy to me when weirdos fetishize us animals to the point of trying to change everyone else's language. I mean hey: I don't speak english! What do I care if someone calls their lousy boyfriend a "dog"? 'Hate Speech?' Naw, it all sounds like Charlie Brown's mom talking to me."
I have been vegan for ethical reasons for two thirds of my life. This is about as embarassed as I've ever been of the vegan community. The thought of trendy vegan wingnuts having actual reactions to friends and allies using "pig" as a slur for police turns my stomach. "Speciesism?" There is some sort of "ism" happening here, and it has nothing to do with the way shouting protesters think about the animals they [most likely don't] eat.
Where do you draw the line? Do we rail against every use of an animals name in vain? Just the negative times, or the condescending times too? 'You sly fox', 'We totally pigged out on Rice Dream', 'No Horseplay in the pool', 'She's got the eagle eye', 'Chicago Cubs', 'Cincinnati Bengals', 'www.happycow.net'...
You're arguing about protecting animals from people calling other people the english versions of animal names. Now take a breath and let that really sink in.
I will never eat an animal, and I will fight for animals' inherent dignity and rights until I die. But I will be damned if I will ever stop calling police pigs, getting dog tired on hikes, pigging out on huckleberries, hounding my meat eating friends to try quinoa, and getting upset when snitches rat out their comrades.
You're talking about my language. No one will ever take my rights as a speaker away because they have developed an historically terrible case of groupthink in the greatest greenest veganest city in the country. You don't speak for vegans - only silly ones with huge ego problems and something to prove. You sound like a majority because you're the most vocal.
And speaking of egos: It isn't "Hate Speech" whenever someone unpolitely disagrees with you. Its not even hate speech whenever someone is offensive to you. It is Unpleasant Speech. Mean Speech. Misinformed Speech. Free Speech. No animal has ever been offended by their characterizations within the lexicon of young radicals. If you are offended, then fine. Be offended. I think that is asinine, and perhaps I am misguided, but either way, no one is being hurt here. Get over yourself.
What is being hurt are the antiquated notions of solidarity, unity, and pluralism within the radical community. It again turns my stomach to know that the internet has made such damage so easy, but that is reality. There are fights worth fighting and there are fights only worth fighting because you are bored and have latched on to a legitimate philosophy for your entire identity.
This is one of those fights. And it isn't serious or urgent enough for this level of disruption. Everyone pause, take a breath, and let this one go. We'll catch the big fish, together, tomorrow.