The words we use

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The words we use

I just read the latest post on the Chicken Farmers of Canada blog and noticed the language in this paragraph:

Did you know that uncooked chicken pieces will keep in your freezer for up to six months? And a whole chicken can be frozen for up to a year? Stocking your freezer with chicken can be a great timesaver, but you can also save money if you buy chicken in bulk and freeze it.

Here’s my rewrite:

Did you know that uncooked chicken parts will keep in your freezer for up to six months? And a whole chicken can be frozen for up to a year? Stocking your freezer with chickens can be a great timesaver, but you can also save money if you buy many chickens and freeze them.

Some subtle changes that illustrate the ways that our language serves to shift animals from sentient beings, individuals with their own lives and perspectives, to objects that we can pack away to serve our own desires.

I try to watch the way I talk about animals when I speak or write. It’s difficult, since this objectification is so deeply embedded in our society.

Animals are not “something” or “it”. They are “someone,” “he” or “she.”


1 Comment

dawnofanewera

May 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Good call.

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