|John Maxwell Coetzee|
In an article in the Spanish major newspaper La Vanguardia, the writer Quim Monzó recalls a campaign organized by the City Council of a Catalonian village to move people to collect canine excrements, with a poster where a pig-like dog appeared to tell its master: "I am your dog. Don’t make me look like a pig. Collect my excrements." The poster provoked numerous complaints from local animalists, who considered it an insult to pigs. Quim Monzó adds the following comment:
As expected... we are now hearing the slogan that the time has come to eliminate all phrases that trivialize the suffering of animals. [The animalist association] proposes that we stop using expressions like "kill two birds with one stone" or "be treated as a guinea pig”... We must not say "take the bull by the horns". There is also an English expression "bring home the bacon," which should not be used either.
Monzó has given his article a significant title: Idiots, idiots everywhere.
I would not dare to call animalists idiots, but I must accuse them of irrationality. Do they really believe that some pig was offended by the campaign for the collection of canine excrement, or that whenever we say don’t be a pig (or any of its synonyms) to rebuke a dirty person? I am afraid that pigs are not even aware of our use of language. The only ones who bother about this are animalists, and until proven otherwise, we must assume that they are human beings.