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Avoiding Speciesist Terms

Joan Dunayer
Adapted by the author from her book Animal Equality: Language and Liberation (Derwood, Md.: Ryce Publishing, 2001) and
reproduced with her permission.

Terms to Avoid Alternatives

animal agriculture food-industry enslavement and slaughter
animal experimentation, animal research, biomedical vivisection
research (that harms animals)
animals (excluding humans) nonhuman animals, other animals, nonhumans
beef, hamburger, steak, etc. cow flesh
beef cow, broiler chicken, food fish, veal calf cow/chicken/fish/calf reared for slaughter
beef industry, pork industry, poultry industry cow-flesh/pig-flesh/bird-flesh industry
beef producer, cattle rancher cattle enslaver
circus animal circus captive
companion animal nonhuman companion, pet (with reference to possibly or
definitely disrespected nonhumans, as in “the pet trade”)
dairy cow, milk cow enslaved cow, cow enslaved for her milk
dairy industry cow-milk industry, goat-milk industry, milk industry
endangered animal, endangered species (in reference member of an endangered species
to an individual not personally endangered)
euthanize (a healthy animal) kill, murder
even (as in “Even insects feel”) also, too, including, as well (as in “Insects, too, feel”)
experimenter, researcher, scientist (who harms vivisector
factory farming factory “farming,” food-industry confinement, intensive
farm animal, farmed animal animal enslaved for food, “farmed” animal
fur industry pelt industry
game animal hunted animal, sport-hunted animal
guardian (in a legal context or in reference to owner
someone who may not love or adequately care for a
nonhuman they legally own)
it (in reference to an animal) she (female); he (male); he/she, she/he (hermaphrodite);
she, he (particular individual of unknown gender); they
(unspecified individual of unknown gender)
lab animal vivisected animal, animal used in vivisection
laying hen enslaved hen, hen enslaved for her eggs
leather cow skin
meat flesh
milk (from cows) cow milk
overfishing fishing, genocide by fishing, decimating a fish population
poultry (in reference to living birds) birds/chickens/ducks/geese/turkeys enslaved for food
purebred inbred
shelter (that kills healthy animals) adoption-and-killing facility
that, which, what (in reference to an animal) who
wild animals, wildlife free-living nonhumans, non-“domesticated” nonhumans
zoo animal zoo captive, zoo inmate, zoo prisoner