The common phrase “bringing home the bacon” may now be offensive to some. If you thought women (because it is about providing for a household and because women seem to be offended by everything these days) you’d be wrong.
According to the Independent, phrases like “bringing home the bacon” and “putting all your eggs in one basket” aren’t merely “harmless quirks of the English language,” but actually phrases that “could be offending vegans and vegetarians.”
The poor, malnourished souls.
The Independent article is based off another article from a researcher who wrote in the Conversation that meat is not just a “form of sustenance,” but “a source of societal power.” Throughout history, Shareena Z. Hamzah wrote, meat was something only the wealthy could afford, while peasants had to subsist on a “mostly vegetarian diet.”
After some literary references, Hamzah then lists all the bad things meat has wrought: Climate change, “environmental degradation,” studies noting some “negative effects of meat-eating on the human body,” and concerns about animal welfare. She wrote:
The increased awareness of vegan issues will filter through our consciousness to produce new modes of expression – after all, there’s more than one way to peel a potato. At the same time, metaphors involving meat could gain an increased intensity if the killing of animals for food becomes less socially acceptable. The image of “killing two birds with one stone” is, if anything, made more powerful by the animal-friendly alternative of “feeding two birds with one scone.” If veganism forces us to confront the realities of food’s origins, then this increased awareness will undoubtedly be reflected in our language and our literature.
Hamzah points to a survey from CompareTheMarket.com, which claims there are 3.5 million vegans in the United Kingdom, a sharp uptick from 2016, when a survey published by The Vegan Society and Vegan Life magazine found just 540,000 vegans living in Britain. It’s difficult to say there was such a sharp increase in just two years, considering the different surveys and potential sample sizes.
This increase, which Hamzah accepts without question, will lead people to stop using meat-based idioms like “bringing home the bacon.”
It’s doubtful, since idioms persist, people hate their speech being censored by the easily offended, and “bringing home the bacon” is about money, not delicious salt-cured pork belly.
Back at the Independent, Olivia Petter notes that the aggressively unpopular “animal rights” group PETA has been trying to get meat-based idioms banned from classrooms.
“While these phrases may seem harmless, they carry meaning and can send mixed signals to students about the relationship between humans and animals and can normalize abuse,” the organization wrote on its website. “Teaching students to use animal-friendly language can cultivate positive relationships between all beings and help end the epidemic of youth violence toward animals.”
These people truly think others are so dumb and evil as to hear a phrase like “killing two birds with one stone” and actually take it as a challenge.
PETA suggests saying “bringing home the bagels,” but what happens when that is deemed racist (since the food originated in Jewish communities) or sexist (please don’t make me explain why) or offensive to people on a no-carb diet?