A Note on the Power of Language

When we talk about animals and share images of nonhumans, we have a responsibility to not frame those animals with a lens that reinforces their objectification. How can we more effectively use words and images in the interest of not brutally reducing those animals to objects? What can we do to give those humans we are talking to about nonhuman rights a lens that facilitates a non-subjugating gaze?

Consider the differences in framing when using following terms:

  • “it” v. “her/him/them”

  • “that” v. “who”

  • “something” v. “someone” (or "anything" v. "anyone")

  • “eating meat” v. “eating animals”

  • “vegan options for humans” v. “legal rights for animals”

  • images of dead bodies treated as the objects they are v. images that tell a story of the someones they were