Mom, Superman & a little mouse
Mom, Superman & a little mouse
My Grandpa
My Grandpa
Some time ago I made a promise to myself that I would not use euphemisms about nonhuman animals, the flesh and secretions we use as food and so on. But habits can die hard.
We all know and use them. Heck, we heard our parents use them and maybe our grandparents too.

Now I know that my mind, memory, habits (whatever you choose to call it) will keep prompting me to use these great, descriptive phrases. The best I can do at the moment is to be aware and to try to nip in the bud, my use of said handy, descriptive phrases.

So, I decided to Google euphemism, hopefully to get a complete list of such sayings. Lo and behold, I discovered that I am using euphemism incorrectly.

The term euphemism refers to:

…polite, indirect expressions which replace words and phrases considered harsh and impolite or which suggest something unpleasant.

So, when referring to our nonhuman companions we say, “Put to sleep” instead of euthanized and “Put down” instead of euthanized.
Well, what the heck do we call all those phrases using nonhuman animals? With a little more research, I found out that the correct term is Proverb.

Here are some Proverbs often used in polite company.

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

…bringing home the bacon!

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

I wouldn’t trust her any farther than I could throw a cat.

A Happy Cow
A Happy Cow
Bottled Cow's Milk
Bottled Cow’s Milk

Language is important to me, especially in the arena of nonhuman animal advocacy. It can be used for good or for bad. For example, producers of cow’s milk can use language along with powerful images to convince us that consuming the milk of cows is actually good for us.
Consider, for instance the latest milk campaign called Milk Life.

The Milk Processor Education Program, the marketing arm for milk processors nationwide, is shelving the popular tagline (got Milk) in favor of a new ad campaign that casts milk as a key ingredient to an active lifestyle.

Milk Life replaces a highly recognizable and seemingly crowd pleasing ad campaign called Got Milk.

Geoff Goodby of the Milk Processor Education Program, the marketing arm for milk processors nationwide states,

It’s a truth, …“‘Got milk?’ is an acknowledgement that milk is essential, and if you don’t have it, then something is missing.

Now, who would not want to be on the side of truth? The “truth” that milk is essential to humans. The only irrefutable truth inherent in this statement is that a cow’s milk is essential for her calf. It is not essential for us, it is not good for us and it is a cruel practice. But, this type of campaign usually does work. It gives us the feeling that we belong, that we are vital, that we are on the right side of advocating for our own health.

Curiously enough, cow’s milk consumption has been steadily declining in North America over the last few decades. Kadison, interim CEO of Milk PEP,

pegs milk’s troubles to a variety of factors, from long-term unemployment to a declining birth rate to the rise of “impostor” dairy products.


Impostor Almond Milk
Impostor Almond Milk

Let’s take a look at the language used here-almond and soy milk are impostor dairy products.

It sounds a bit (read-very) ridiculous to me and a little bit (read-a lot) like the dairy industry is running scared. Could it be that people are starting to understand that cow’s milk is meant for cows and that consuming it in any form is bad for our health and devastating for the cows and their babies?

Annie’s Vegan View

My personal goal is always to use language to promote nonhuman animal advocacy in a positive, honest way. I will draw attention to those producers, boards, government agencies and all those in this mega nonhuman animal industry who hide behind terms, words, phrases, euphemisms and proverbs that sanitize the ongoing devastation and death caused to beings who cannot speak for themselves. I will do this by presenting the proper terminology as often as it takes.

Murder a nonhuman animal   NOT Harvest a product
Cow’s Milk (Secretions ) NOT Dairy
Pig’s Flesh   NOT Ham
Calf NOT Veal
Murdering NOT Culling
Prisons NOT Dolphinariums, Zoos, etc

I encourage you to join me. Your voice is so important. We are being heard!!!

May all beings be happy and free.



“A HOG IN SATIN IS STILL A HOG”…and other nonhuman animal proverbs!

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