HomeCat NewsThe Language of Prejudice Against Cats


The Language of Prejudice Against Cats — 7 Comments

  1. I think a lot of people just say things without thinking, not only about cats, although cat haters do like to demean them every chance they get.
    Some sayings don’t even make sense like ‘He was as drunk as a newt’ But newts don’t drink alcohol! ‘Pig ignorant’ But pigs are far from ignorant, they are very clever.
    Human beings think themselves so far above animals they use these words without even a thought as to how demeaning they are to other species.

  2. Cleveland Amory was equally eloquent in deploring this tendency. He said we enjoy using names of innocent animals to disparage people we dislike: ‘snake in the grass,’ ‘skunk,’ ‘wolf,’ ’dog in the manger,’ ‘pig,’ ‘cow,’ ‘cat and catty,’ ‘hairy ape’ (Eugene O’Neill), ‘reptile,’ ‘viper,’ ‘jackass,’ ‘old goat,’ ‘silly goose,’ ‘queen bee,’ ‘shark,’ ‘worm,’ ‘rat’ (for all the harm it causes, a rat is innocence incarnate), ‘weasel’ ‘shrew,’ ‘sheep,’
    ‘leech,’ ‘toad,’ etc.

    ‘Egg’ is another word that, when it refers to the gamete of a human female, throws open the door to everyday expressions degrading to women: ‘chick,’ ‘hen,’ ‘old crow,’ ‘nesting instinct,’ ‘hen party,’ ‘pecking order,’ ‘hen-pecked,’ ‘cackling,’ ‘she nearly laid an egg,’ ‘her feathers are ruffled,’ and other avian putdowns.

    • Excellent points. They are derogatory to both the person and the animal it seems to me. It is bad language but it is so ingrained into the English language that it is acceptable when it shouldn’t be.

  3. Excellent discussion. Honestly speaking we all humans are prejudiced in some way or the other but some people are more open in expressing their opinions while others are good diplomats. The “Internet” has made speech easier including prejudiced remarks as people don’t personally interact with each other.I have read and heard numerous prejudiced remarks against cats and dogs.

    • Excellent comment Rudolph. We are all prejudiced as you say and the internet encourages people to show it. Often the writer is unaware they are demonstrating their prejudices through their writing. I think as long as the writer states that it is their opinion the person is at least being honest and open. When something is presented as fact almost and it is prejudiced it can be damaging.

  4. Cool topic.
    I can’t count the times that I’ve heard someone take a drink of something and describe it as cat piss. I also see an advert for Febreeze on the TV that claims homeowners have gone “nose blind” to the animal scents in their houses but their guests are disgusted.

    • I can’t count the times that I’ve heard someone take a drink of something and describe it as cat piss.

      That is an excellent example, Dee.

      The language of prejudice has a negative impact. Although we can all do it. We have to be aware of it at least.

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