Scott Hardie | April 13, 2003
So last night, we were discussing animal politics, as in vegetarianism and fur coats and laboratory animals and so on. I used the word "murder" to refer to the killing of an animal in general, and my tone should have indicated that I wasn't using "murder" in a political sense like the PETA people do, just as a term for killing. Immediately I got pounced on by the others, who claimed strongly that it wasn't murder for various reasons (man was meant to eat meat, medical testing on animals saves lives, et cetera). I find it interesting, now that I've looked it up in the dictionary, that none of them claimed it wasn't murder to kill an animal because the actual definition of the word murder is "the killing of a human being." Anyway, none of us had access to a dictionary last night, so that point is moot, but have we all become so politicized that someone can't just use a word in a sentence without it being seen as some kind of political statement?

Erik Bates | April 13, 2003
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