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We Should Stop Insulting Animals and Own Our Own Humanity

By: 
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume

Talking politics often includes unfavorable characterizations of one’s adversaries and using animals to insult humans is very common in this context, both online and IRL. But this is neither fair nor accurate, and I often find myself tacking on a comment to that effect, such as: “Describing Republicans as rats is insulting to rats” or “Calling cops pigs slanders pigs.”

Writer Upton Sinclair famously declared that “the two political parties are two wings of the same bird of prey.” While this image is useful for illustrating the reality of partisan life in the USA, it denigrates hawks, falcons, eagles, owls and shrikes, among others. None of those birds are like the Republican and Democratic leadership, which is to say: deceitful, dishonest, fraudulent, guileful, perfidious, shifty, swindling, thieving and unscrupulous. “Two sides of the same coin” is more accurate.