5

Speciesist language?

Submitted by hjek in AskRaddle

I notice that the language bot gives notices when ableist language is used.

Perhaps it could also give notices on a few of the most egregious speciesist terms:

  • meat / steak (instead: flesh)
  • fishing (instead: angling)
  • pork / bacon (instead: flesh / skin of a pig carcass)
  • poultry (instead: flesh of a fowl carcass)
  • mutton (instead: flesh of a sheep carcass)

or something like that?

Comments

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14

ziq wrote

I think languagebot is kinda like the transhumanist goal of cybernation; giving machines the power to govern people. It's bad enough when people govern us, but at least people can be reasoned with.

14

throwaway wrote (edited )

I personally think this is over the line. I'm vegetarian (working on going vegan), so it's not that i don't think steak is crap - but replacing ordinary words such as bacon with "skin of a pig carcass" is stretching it. There's a big difference between the skin of a dead pig, and bacon. Same goes for steak, it's not flesh, it's flesh that's been prepared and made into food. Recognizing that such a thing exists isn't speciesism, it's common sense.

Having to conform to these rules is impractical and unnecessary.

On a side note, this probably belongs in f/meta.

-5

hjek wrote (edited )

Recognizing that such a thing exists isn't speciesism, it's common sense.

Of course "bacon" does exist, but you convey different values depending on how you describe it.

For example, if we talk about the Iraq war, you give it an air of acceptability if you say collateral damage instead of civilian deaths, overseas contingency operation instead of invasion and enhanced interrogation techniques instead of torture.

Similarly, "meat" is used to convey the idea that non-human animal flesh is somehow conceptually different, and therefore ok to eat.

I'm a bit surprised by the reactions to this because I've seen quite a few threads here calling out ableist language, and those didn't appear to spark such controversy.

12

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

Calling meat meat won't emotionally hurt the animals. That's what's different with ableist language.

Vocabulary has weight but we aren't talking about the same scope at all.

I'm uncomfortable with comparing food vocabulary with killing people and prejudice against already vulnerable population.

-4

hjek wrote

Calling meat meat won't emotionally hurt the animals.

I think that's a fair point.

But can I ask: In a private conversation between you and a good friend, would you consider rebuking a friend for repeatedly using a really nasty racial slur?

I remember reproaching my friends for doing so, even though no one else was present to hear it and to be emotionally hurt.

Of course it could be argued that I could have done that to prevent someone in the future from hearing my friend say racial slurs. But I think it actually hurt me that my friend used a racial slur about someone else.

8

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

Again it's not comparable. I get where you're coming from but comparing animal liberation to real life problems of other people is... prejudice to those people. (I'm not sure if this is the right word but it's at least very disrespectful and heartless).

Asking omnis to call meat "corpses" won't help the animals. Using your analogy it's more like reacting to your racist grampa's vocabulary than a friends. There are more important fights, we need to adapt to our audience.

I get where you're coming from and use a dry vocabulary when talking about eating corpses with other vegans irl. But raddle isn't a vegan exclusive club and you're alienating people.

If we ever get forum specific bots, we could talk about having this type of vocabulary bot specific for /f/vegan again over there, in which case I'll probably support.

-4

hjek wrote (edited )

There are more important fights, we need to adapt to our audience.

How do we measure the relative importance of fights?

Animal agriculture means 150.000.000.000 murders per year and even if we were to give zero regard for non-human lives, it still accounts for about half of our total greenhouse gas emissions. Climate breakdown, dead zones and antibiotics resistance will cause (and are causing) a significant number of human deaths.

I'm not saying that it is the single most urgent fight (that could arguably be the arms industry or fossil fuel industry ... or what do you think?) but I wonder what metric you suggest we should base importance on? And should we not take an issue seriously even if it doesn't make it to the "top 3 of important fights" or whatever?

I get where you're coming from but comparing animal liberation to real life problems of other people is... prejudice to those people.

Given the above facts, I think it's a bit grand to suggest that animal liberation is not "a real life problem", but even if we we're to (again) disregard welfare of non-human animals, the work conditions in that industry is still a real life problem for humans as well.

4

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

I was talking about more important fights for animal liberation that language policing. I consider "meatless mondays" useless, but it will imo have a more positive impact than asking omnis to say flesh instead of meat.

Do you not see the problem comparing animals to marginalized people?

-4

hjek wrote (edited )

Do you not see the problem comparing animals to marginalized people?

I think I understand why it can upset people. I think it does so in much the same way that Israelis are upset when their discrimination against Palestinians is compared to discrimination against Jews in Germany in 1930s: Because they want to believe that the discrimination they're been facing is unique (so they can avoid to face the discrimination they're themselves doing).

Whether it's by race or gender or ability or species, it's all discrimination and repression, and if we don't compare them, then we will have less solidarity between different marginalized groups and be less able to effectively fight systemic discrimination.

IMO it's a bit narrow minded to only be concerned about a selected few instances of repression. (I think the first one I was concerned about was Free Software, and I could probably have limited my considerations to that as well.)

Last month Democracy Now had a really good interview with Angela Davis where she was also talking a bit about making women's liberation a part of the civil rights movement.

I consider "meatless mondays" useless, but it will imo have a more positive impact than asking omnis to say flesh instead of meat.

There's a connection between racist language and racist actions (and misogynist language and misogynist actions, etc), isn't there? Why presume that speciesism is any different in that regard?

3

GaldraChevaliere wrote

You're unironically comparing the vicious oppression of the palestinians and the fucking holocaust to your desire for people to call pork pig carcass. Out of all the actually useful things you could do to help undermine the slaughter industry like establishing subsistence farms and urban gardens in communities, providing education to people on where exactly their food comes from and reconnecting them to their food sources, helping to eradicate food deserts and actually like, teaching people in your community how to swap to vegan or vegetarian diets without going fucking bankrupt or starving, or making direct efforts to help animals in need like volunteering your time at no-kill shelters and fixing housepets and livestock to help reduce their numbers so an escaped cat doesn't decimate a local ecosystem, or adopting rescued livestock so they can live a life not up to their knees in shit, you're seriously fucking comparing people calling meat meat to the wholesale fucking slaughter and removal of a people from their homes by a fascist regime with the justification that "oh well they don't like it when we remind them their actions mirror those taken in the holocaust".

-6

hjek wrote (edited )

Cry harder.

Edit:

You're unironically comparing the vicious oppression of the palestinians and the fucking holocaust

Not really. I was referencing a comparison made by an Isreali general made about the country in whose army he serves. Check the link, and consider educating yourself about the occupation of Palestine.

4

GaldraChevaliere wrote

You are literally comparing "I cooked bacon for breakfast" to "I approve of the wholesale slaughter of an entire country under imperialist pretenses."

-5

hjek wrote (edited )

Comparing but not equalling.

8

starfishempire wrote

As a vegan I think those wordfilters would be silly. In fact, I am against wordfilters. I found this place randomly cause I was looking for a leftist forum, but if this place has wordfilters I'm not going to stick around.

Wordfilters just protect the poster, not the readers. If a poster is a racist, then that should be obvious.

3

ziq wrote

It's not a filter, it a bot that makes suggestions basically. But people didn't like it so the person who made the bot turned it off.

7

GaldraChevaliere wrote

Is this that PETA meme? You've got two direct synonyms (flesh/meat, fishing/angling) and three choices actively picked out to inspire disgust about the subject. Nobody's going to mesh with that if they're not already a very specific kind of vegan.

2

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

"PETA [...] Nobody's going to mesh with that if they're not already a very specific kind of vegan."

It's funny you said that like that because I believe that PETA propaganda is in fact aimed at vegans, specifically they try to make non-activist vegans active. If you look at their ads with that lenses they suck much less haha

2

GaldraChevaliere wrote

I'll respect them when they stop operating kill shelters and trying to separate domestic animals from the humans they live with. I find their entire organization cynical, hypocritical, and unhelpful.

4

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

They operate the kill shelters because nobody else wants to.

Half the shit PETA gets is false propaganda from the meat industry, but they did objectify women in their ads a few years back.

IMO you aren't their target audience and that's OK

-2

hjek wrote

synonyms

Euphemisms.

2

GaldraChevaliere wrote

Synonyms. We get 'beef' from 'beouf' because it's a loanword from french, old english called cow meat simply 'cow'. German uses fleisch as the go-to word for meat. If anything you're euphemizing by calling something you just described as an act of 'murder' with an euphemism with fishing. I can call a corpse a carcass of a human, but I don't, because it is a corpse.

-4

hjek wrote

Synonyms. We get 'beef' from 'beouf' because it's a loanword from french, old english called cow meat simply 'cow'.

Possibly in their etymology, but how does this ring: "Go on, you can pat one of the cute beefs on the field over there."

3

GaldraChevaliere wrote

Almost like linguistic drift over 900-something years makes language sound stilted and forced when you try to combine modern speech patterns with old words.

5

kore wrote

Though I agree with you I unfortunately think that we as a community are nowhere close to being able to discuss these sorts of questions. Language bot is already causing trouble. We haven't even talked about "bots" from a radical perspective in the first place.

7

ziq wrote (edited )

In fairness, languagebot has words on it that have no business being there. I think it's even offensive that words like 'blind' and 'deaf' are being presented as slurs. When words like that are on it, it damages the bot's credibility in pointing out actually harmful words.

1

hjek wrote (edited )

We haven't even talked about "bots" from a radical perspective in the first place.

Yes. It's socially awkward when code is given an identity and referred to as a "bot", which has a username and the ability to post and reply to things, like other users.

I personally find it less creepy, when "they" are less anthropomorphized, for example the usual manifestation of a spell checker "bot" is to put a squiggly red underline under a misspelled word.

I think it would probably be better to do something similar (perhaps a blue squiggly line with a pop-up on hover) for bad words. Personified bots interfering with your writing is just Clippy all over again.

4

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

Omnis get offended when I say "soy yogurt" and "vegan steak" lol. In EU it's even banned.

I dont think we need a bot, but still try to appropriate "juice" for fruits and plants only. I dont like when people use it as a synonym for blood.

5

ziq wrote

"juice" for fruits and plants only. I dont like when people use it as a synonym for blood.

ew wtf is up with ppl

3

GaldraChevaliere wrote

Blame that on pansy restaurant goers that don't want to know what gravy or fond or puddings are made of.

4

Freux wrote

I don't know if it's only me but I'm more annoyed at "pig" as a slang for cops than using "bacon" or "fishing".

But I agree on the other words and we need to think more about it. I'm sure the LanguageBot could be updated to have specieist language. Would be nice that there is more people to work on it though.

-2

hjek wrote (edited )

I don't know if it's only me but I'm more annoyed at "pig" as a slang for cops than using "bacon" or "fishing".

True, but it's technically complicated for a bot to tell in which sense a word is being used. The terms I listed are almost always speciesist ("nut meat" is not speciesist, but it's uncommon).

I personally find "fishing" quite insulting, and I'd like to explain exactly why: You take the noun that denotes a group of beings, fish, and derive a verb from it, to fish, which means killing members of that group. We've might be used to the murderous fish verb, but that has to do with our conditioned ethical blindness. How would you feel if to child or to woman were used in a similar sense? (Meaning "to hunt women / children for the purpose of eating their flesh")

2

GaldraChevaliere wrote

That's a hell of a stretch. We say "to fish" to contrast "to hunt", because they're different actions. Hunting is dynamic with stalking prey and bringing it down, fishing is generally passive, waiting for it to be tangled in a net or to come in spear range. They're different words because the process is different, nobody looked at fishing when the word was coined with the idea of "oh, we'll call it murder by species", they called it by the method and the type of food brought to the table. I wouldn't feel anything about your example because I would literally never hear that from anyone to begin with, and because the threat of violence to women and children from men is already a constant presence in our lives.

Inb4 you call me 'carnist' or something, I'm an obligate vegetarian at least with regards to fish and red meat because eating more than a tiny piece makes me almost immediately sick, and I cut poultry out of my diet because I agree with a lot of vegan and animal lib principles about how they and all industrial/clinical livestock are treated. Speciesism is denying that animals have feelings or a capacity for thought, pain and emotion, or that slaughterhouses and animal abuse are problems. It's not recognizing that predation is a natural part of the cycle of life or that humans are optimized for a mixture of hunting, fishing, gathering and scavenging. I don't give a shit about optics or something, but vegans in general do a shit job presenting their arguments.

2

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote (edited )

"Speciesism is denying that animals have feelings or a capacity for thought, pain and emotion, or that slaughterhouses and animal abuse are problems."

to be pedantic and out of context; speceism is the belief that some animals (humans+dogs) are more important than others. It's got more of an "artificial hiearchy" twist than what you said. The capacity for thought/pain/emotion are tools that are used to justify this hierarchy, which is why people say cows are "dumb".

1

GaldraChevaliere wrote

TBH people who say that have never met a cow or a pig, but I get what you're angling towards. I'd still say that what you're saying is a part of speciesism rather than the whole and that in either case vegans still reaaaally fucking anthropomorphize.

-1

hjek wrote

in either case vegans still reaaaally fucking anthropomorphize.

Do you believe it is to "anthropomorphize" to suggest that a dog can feel pain?

Or a pig or a cow or a chicken?

(Not suggesting we should give pigs the right to vote or drive cars; that would be anthropomorphizing.)

1

GaldraChevaliere wrote (edited )

I believe it's anthropomorphizing to say that a lion can abstain from meat. I think that it is anthropomorphizing to say that, for example, a salties' thought processes at all resemble a human's because we are adapted to utterly different niches. I literally just said that dogs and for that matter any animal can feel pain and that acts like industrialized slaughter or the beating of animals is cruel, you're being disingenuous.

-3

hjek wrote (edited )

in either case vegans still reaaaally fucking anthropomorphize.

I believe it's anthropomorphizing to say that a lion can abstain from meat.

Of course that is anthropomorphizing. And fortunately being vegan doesn't require you to have an opinion on what lions should eat (whether that was your point or not).

1

GaldraChevaliere wrote

Vegans have literally tried to 'reform' carnivorous animals like cats with disastrous results, endangering animals' wellbeing to prove a point to other humans.

-1

hjek wrote

to be pedantic and out of context; speceism is the belief that some animals (humans+dogs) are more important than others.

To be really really pedantic: speceism is the belief that some animals are more important than others only because of their species.

You can still be anti-speciesist and believe that the life of a mosquito is worth less important than that of a human, for example based on a comparison of their mental abilities or other some other criteria than just what species they belong to.

3

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

My comparison is how alien they are to me. I'll value a mamifere more than an insect because they are more like me. Is that speceism?

Basing decisons on people (and animals) mntal abilities is something that makes me uneasy but I get ur point

3

happy wrote

Your first paragraph reads like racism if you were talking about humans and not other earthlings imho

2

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

Do you have an idea of how to reformulate without the possible racist interpretation?

0

happy wrote

How can I say I'm racist without people knowing I'm racist?

The fact that you value some animals over others is speciesist. Like racism, speciesism is ingrained into our society, culture, and our values making it easy to overlook and think it's not a big deal.

It makes it harder when non-human animals don't have voices to communicate their feelings and needs and desires so we have individuals speaking up for animal rights being shut down by liberals and leftists because they don't like it being brought up that billions of animals are kept in hellish living conditions, stuffed with antibiotics, lead to slaughter and murdered for their body parts to be used in clothing, food, soap, chemicals, paints, and near almost everything we deal with on a daily basis.

-2

hjek wrote

We say "to fish" to contrast "to hunt", because they're different actions.

What a bout whaling / whale hunt then? (Regardless, "hunting" is also sometimes used to describe trapping of animals)

Speciesism is denying that animals have feelings or a capacity for thought, pain and emotion, or that slaughterhouses and animal abuse are problems.

That is an extreme form of speciesism, just like an extreme form of racism would be something like "[racial-slur]s have no capacity for thought". If you say "[racial-slur]s are able to think so abusing them is a problem", then it's still racist, even if it's a little bit less so.

but vegans in general do a shit job presenting their arguments.

Lovely ad hominem going on here?

2

GaldraChevaliere wrote (edited )

You don't fucking hook or net a whale have you even read moby dick let alone seen a whale hunt? You harpoon it to bleed it out before thrusting a spear into it. Hell, some ships fired cannons at them. One of the biggest oppositions to whaling aside from their rarity and presumed intelligence is that it takes fucking forever to kill one, it's a drawn out and cruel process compared to the taking of a deer with a bow or a gun.

Are you seriously comparing "we shouldn't kick dogs or step on ants because it's pointless cruelty" to systemic racism and lynchings? The act itself is morally wrong because you're hurting something to no constructive purpose, your own argument is lacking because veganism specifically advocates the consumption of vegetables and fruits for their lack of observable ability to do those things. Moral arguments always come from somewhere, it's not a fucking void.

Oh grow the fuck up. I lose all respect for someone the moment they try to weasel their way out of an actual argument with mindlessly quoting fallacies.

0

[deleted] wrote

1

BigGeorge moderator wrote (edited )

r_dcl_sm wrote

Fuck yourself, carnie shit boy.

Don't misgender people. This is a warning.

-2

hjek wrote

You don't fucking hook or net a whale

I know; perhaps I wasn't clear enough: Whaling and whale hunting are synonyms, and whaling is a verb derived from whale.

Are you seriously comparing "we shouldn't kick dogs or step on ants because it's pointless cruelty" to systemic racism and lynchings?

That's quite a straw man. I wouldn't argue that stepping on an ant is as bad as lynching a black person. But you might enjoy this Wikipedia article.

The act itself is morally wrong because you're hurting something to no constructive purpose, your own argument is lacking because veganism specifically advocates the consumption of vegetables and fruits for their lack of observable ability to do those things.

I'm actually curious about what you mean there. Yes, we can't observe that vegetables and fruits feel pain, whereas we can observe that pigs and cows and humans feel pain. How is that argument lacking? Not sure I understand. Have you observed a pear screaming out of fear of being picked and eaten?

Oh grow the fuck up.

More lovely ad hominem.

1

GaldraChevaliere wrote

From a vegan perspective, the killing of animals is wrong because they demonstrably suffer, as opposed to eating plants, which do not. That's the basic conceit of veganism, a moral judgement based on the perceived ability to feel pain, which is something I am very fucking clearly agreeing with. Whaling and whale hunting are still etymologically and practically distinct from fishing, and you only brought it up in an attempt to be pedantic. A straw man? It's literally what you're saying, you're the one that said "don't hurt animals because they think and feel" is equivalent at all to "don't be racist because they feel things." The context is utterly different and you're simplifying a vastly more complex subject in an attempt to defend your point. The unwarranted smugness is dripping from you. Saying ad hominem isn't going to make you any more right, argr.

-3

r_dcl_sm wrote

Carnie apologists like you will get the bullet in the revolution.

3

BigGeorge wrote

You think there's a revolution coming where vegans are gonna take up arms and shoot the majority of the human population?

What world do you live in?

0

r_dcl_sm wrote

A humane one, unlike the carnies who oppress and murder animals. An eye for an eye.

2

BigGeorge wrote

Okay... but how are a tiny minority (vegans) going to shoot dead the majority of the human species? Even in countries where vegans make up as much as 5% of the population, how exactly are you expecting to kill the other 95% of the country? Seems like an unlikely revolution / genocide, no? Since you're vastly outgunned?

1

GaldraChevaliere wrote

You should start with learning to aim first. You'd piss yourself hearing a gun go off.

-2

r_dcl_sm wrote

Be careful about that, cuckboy 😉

5

BigGeorge moderator wrote

Okay, I warned you not to misgender her and you did it again, so that's a ban.

Thanks for making vegans look like genocidal losers btw. You're a real credit to 'humanitarianism'.

3

Tequila_Wolf admin wrote

Going to top off BigGeorge's fast work with a global ban for queerphobia and assholery.

3

Pop wrote (edited )

we don't take kindly to misgendering around here

edit: didn't know this was intentional - go fuck yourself douchebag

-4

hjek wrote

The unwarranted smugness is dripping from you.

Another one. I'm finished here; this is too impolite.

1

GaldraChevaliere wrote

Cry harder.

-6

hjek wrote (edited )

Wow, they've even got fascist trolls here. It's just like the real Reddit.

3

amongstclouds wrote

Shut the fuck up, loser. LOL.

-4

hjek wrote (edited )

2

amongstclouds wrote

Just because I treat you like a little cuck baby doesn't mean I treat people who actually matter like that.

3

bloodrose wrote

I think the overall consensus seems to be to not use the language bots. However, speciest language might be a discussion for f/language.