Phrases such as “killing two birds with one stone” and “bringing home the bacon” are likely to be replaced with animal-friendly versions in the future.
Common phrases such as “flogging a dead horse” or “more than one way to skin a cat” have been used in English speech and literature for centuries.
But, Shareena Hamzah, a researcher at Swansea University, predicts this will change as conversation grows around vegan issues, animal cruelty, and the impact of a high demand for meat on the environment.
Animal rights charity Peta already advocates cruelty-free verbal swaps for use in schools.
For instance, they recommend “bring home the bacon” be swapped with “bring home the bagels” or “put all your eggs in one basket” be swapped with “put all your berries in one bowl.”
In an article published on The Conversation, Dr Hazmah wrote it was unlikely meat-based phrases would be cut from language altogether and using meat-based phrases more sparingly could have the effect of heightening their impact.
“Metaphors involving meat could gain an increased intensity if the killing of animals for food becomes less socially acceptable,” she said.
“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”.