The animal rights “people” are at it again. Concluding their annual convention at Long Beach, California last week, a resolution condemning “the humans’ pervasive employment of derogatory human language to harass and ridicule other species” was passed unanimously (no neighs). Human verbal abuse was roundly denounced as “manly” and “unbeastly”. Strident calls for boycotts, strikes, and intensified legal action were greeted by catcalls, howls, and roars of approval from the wide political spectrum of canines, equines, felines, bovines, and birds of all kinds who crowded the sawdust-covered convention floor. As one delegate put it, “It was like a zoo down there!”

The dogs, representing the militant faction of the menagerie, led off with a long list of words and expressions that they would like to see banned from the English language. The term “dogged determination” was denounced by one Dalmation as “an exploitation of our workingdog ethic”. “To tell you the truth,” he growled. “all that man’s best friend stuff is getting up my snout!”

The terms a dog’s life and in the doghouse, wailed a large golden retriever, “belittle our life style!” He pointed out that the idiom his bark is worse than his bite is a “snide attack on our First Amendment rights.” And the phrase to bark up the wrong tree, he added, is “an insult to our intelligence. No dog I know has ever made that mistake!”

Consensus among the canines was reached to strike the terms doggie bags and hot dogs from restaurant menus. Dog-tired, dog-eared, and doggonnit were also condemned. The female contingent led the way in passing a resolution to outlaw the expletives bitch and son of a bitch. One Pekenese was greeted by barks of approval and snappy tail-wagging when she proclaimed: “I’m a bitch and I’m mandammed proud of it!”

“It’s not a dog eat dog world out there,” concluded Spot McCallister President of the New Jersey Chapter of the ACA (American Canine Association), “it’s a man eat man world out there, and let me tell you, they can have it!. It’s their world that’s gone to the people. There’s no need to blame us! They say that every dog must have his day. Well, let me tell you, brothers, sisters, and litter mates, our day has come!”

The cats were also well represented, and were equally vociferous in their condemnation of human verbal abuse. The adjective catty was roundly denounced, as well as catastrophe, cataclysm, and catatonic.

“We’re catty and we’re proud of it! We take catnaps, we sit catercorner, we go to cathouses, and we actually enjoy playing cat and mouse,” meowed the Persian cat, Fritz Ortiz.

In a controversial motion, which was thought by many to have anti-Semitic overtones, the family-name Katz was censured. Also, a boycott of the Del Monte Tomato Company was approved by a purring majority because of their “insidious insistence on spelling ketchup catsup instead of ketchup. “Let them dip their French fries in somebody else’s sauce,” said Kitty Johnson, the famed Siamese.

While the cats and dogs were the most radical of the domesticated contingents, there was widespread agreement among all present that the word petting be outlawed as a description of “all that human foreplay stuff.”

Among the barnyard delegations, the horses maintained their customary restraint in their criticism of human verbal offenses. However, as one Palomino put it, “We do not horse around, nor engage in horse play. Nor is there any such thing as horsefeathers. It’s time they got off our backs!”

The expression horse of a different color was roundly denounced as rascist. And when Texas Stable Assosciation President Buck Johnson asked the assembled herd if they relish the use of the word hors d’oevres to describe human snack food, the unanimous equine response was a loud “neigh”.

On the other hand, the humans’ use of the word horsepower to describe engine strength, as well as the tying of their hair in pony tails, was viewed by most of the Equi as complimentary and a positive demonstration of good horse sense by the humans.

However, the farm animals were generally critical of human language abuse and slander of their good names. The pigs protested the humans’ repeated deprecations of their eating habits, as well as their personal hygiene. And they all oinked angrily that they do not hog any roads, nor speak pig-Latin. The chickens clucked emphatically that there was nothing wrong with being chicken, nor with putting all your eggs in one basket. In addition, they squawked, their excrement was “perfectly satisfactory as far as they we’re concerned”. The bulls, too, defended the quality and sincerity of their excrement. Several of the large bovines also pounded the floor in abject denial of any participation in the so-called stock market.

The sheep let it be recorded that they never grin sheepishly. In fact, they never smile at all. Added one ewe: “And I’d like to see them use their own heads as battering rams!” The rats, snakes, goats, and canaries all expressed their clear frustration with the slanderous use of their good names. The deer, in particular, snorted in protest at the ongoing mis-use of their names in the openings of letters.

In short, it was a stormy conference for the animal-righters. The session ended with a resolution to meet again next year in Kansas City (at the recommendation of the steering committee) – when they hope to hear a positive report from the Legal Committee concerning the upcoming lawsuits against the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB (both the National and American Leagues) for unauthorized use of animal names for sports teams. Said one raccoon: “Penguins is a dumb name for a hockey team anyway.”

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