Don Lemon Drags PETA: ‘They Should Actually Be Concerned About Homophobia and Racism’

CNN host reacts to PETA’s chart suggesting alternatives to common “anti-animal” expressions

Last Updated: December 6, 2018 @ 10:32 AM

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) came in for mockery on CNN Wednesday evening after hosts Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon joked about a new set of terms the organization rolled out this week that they hoped could replace less animal friendly idioms.

On set, Lemon urged PETA to focus on real issues and derided their claims that “anti-animal” language was comparable to racism or homophobia.

“They should actually be concerned about homophobia and racism,” said Lemon.

“PETA should have several seats. That’s one. Is that one up there? PETA does some great work. I’m sure, but, come on. Pick your battles. Really?” he added. “As someone who knows a bit about both of those, come on. Listen, an animal who gets eaten doesn’t get eaten because of their gender.”

Chris Cuomo — who through laughter insisted he wasn’t mocking the animal rights organization — said the issue reflected his problem with political correctness.

“We put too much weight on what we say and not enough on what we do,” said Cuomo. “This is my thing with political correctness.”

“PETA was started by women and members of the LGBTQ community, so many of us have personally felt the sting of thoughtless language,” the organization said in a statement to TheWrap Thursday. “That’s part of why we believe in changing long-used expressions that make us all cringe, like “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” or “kill two birds with one stone”–it’s a fun way to remind people that our words matter.”

On Tuesday, the organization came in for broad mockery over the campaign. 

“Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations,” PETA said while sharing a chart calling out “anti-animal language.”

In the chart, PETA identified a number of common idioms which suggested violent language toward animals and instead offered some friendly alternatives.

Instead of “kill two birds with one stone,” the organization suggested “feed two birds with one scone.” Why “bring home the bacon” when you could “bring home the bagels.”