Piers Morgan tells PETA representative to ‘get a life’ after the group claimed using ‘supremacist insults’ such as ‘pig’ and ‘chicken’ can affect our treatment of animals
- PETA asked people to stop using animal names as an insult in tweet last Tuesday
- Spokesperson Jennifer White clashed with Piers, 55, during GMB debate today
- Claimed animal phrases can imply some animals are ‘deceitful and disgusting’
- Several viewers agreed with Piers with one branding the argument ‘ridiculous’
Piers Morgan told a PETA spokesperson to ‘get a life’ after she claimed that using insults such as ‘pig’ and ‘chicken’ can negatively impact our treatment of animals.
The organisations UK’s senior media officer and spokesperson Jennifer White, from Edinburgh, appeared on Good Morning Britain today to debate whether using phrases like ‘sloth’ to describe a lazy person is insulting to animals.
Jennifer argued that ‘words have consequences’ and while PETA is not trying to ‘ban’ the words, they want people to think about the ‘impact’ the phrases could have by ‘perpetuating negative stereotypes’ that will influence how people treat animals.
The debate arose from a tweet issued by the campaign group last week, which read: ‘Calling someone an animal as an insult reinforces the myth that humans are superior to other animals and justified in violating them. Stand up for injustice by rejecting supremacist language.’
Piers, 55, said that animals are unlikely to be ‘offended’ by the insults and criticised the timing of the argument in the midst of the pandemic – with several viewers agreeing that the suggestion is ‘ridiculous’.
Piers Morgan (pictured top with Susanna Reid) told PETA spokesperson Jennifer White (bottom left) to ‘get a life’ after claiming that using insults such as ‘pig’ and ‘chicken’ can negatively impact our treatment of animals
Jennifer, from Edinburgh, argued that ‘words have consequences’ and while PETA is not trying to ‘ban’ the words, they want people to think about the ‘impact’ the phrases could have
‘Just to be clear,’ said Jennifer, ‘We’re not telling anyone to ban any words, we’re not the PC police – we’re simply asking people to think about the words they use and the impact they have.
‘We know words matter and help shape our perception about others. So, when you call someone a “rat” or “pig” or “chicken”, not only are you being hurtful to whoever you are throwing the insult at, it also is not accurate.
‘You are implying some animals are deceitful and disgusting, which isn’t true…you’re perpetuating negative stereotypes that affect our treatment of animals.’
Cutting her off, Piers argued: Hate to break it to you, rats can be disgusting, sloths can be lazy’.
Several viewers agreed that the suggestion is ‘ridiculous’ and said that animal phrases can be used as terms of endearment
However Jennifer snapped back arguing the word sloth comes from slow, not from lazy, and that sloths ‘cannot be lazy’ because they are slow for survival.
Piers then asked when the last time a ‘sloth was offended’ was, to which Jennifer accused him of ‘deliberately missing the meaning’ of their argument.
‘When was the last time any of these animals complained about these offensive words?’ said Piers.
Jennifer argued back: ‘You cannot tell me words do not have consequences; you are a journalist, we know words matter and have consequences.’
Piers went on to criticise the timing of the charity’s argument, who on Tuesday Tweeted a list of the ‘anti-animal slurs’ and gave a list of swaps for people to use in place of the animal insults.
Last Tuesday, animal rights activist group PETA posted a tweet in which they claimed that people need to stop calling someone an animal as an insult as it will ‘perpetuate oppression’
The advocacy group also shared this chart of the insults that could be used instead of the animal insults
He said: ‘There is a global pandemic right now, killing millions of people and up you pop – I don’t mean here, I mean on your social media platform – and think the most important issue in the world right now is using phrases like ‘chicken’, to which I say get a life, Jennifer.’
Defending herself, Jennifer said: ‘You brought me on here, not to discuss our investigation into South African trophy hunting, or monkey labour in Thailand, you invited us on to discuss this tweet.’
Piers went on: ‘I read the reaction on social media an there was widespread ridicule – and lots of people thinking that you are the PC language cops and do want to tell us how to speak. The animals are never going to understand what these words are.’
Piers, 55, said that animals are unlikely to be ‘offended’ by the insults and criticised the timing of their argument
Defending herself, Jennifer said: ‘You brought me on here, not to discuss our investigation into South African trophy hunting, or monkey labour in Thailand’
Viewers quickly took to Twitter to share their views, with one writing: ‘The idiocy of the @peta stance on using ‘lazy’ instead of sloth is that sloths are named sloths because they move slowly. The descriptive word came before the naming of the animal.’
Another said: ‘We have always used animals as words of endearment. What is this world coming to with everything that is going on in the world the pandemic, racial abuse, etc….PETA needs to wind it’s neck in, I know that they do lots of good in the world but really!!!’
‘Big lol to PETA coming up with “replacement words”! We have bigger god damn troubles at the moment!’ wrote a third.
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