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    Language Choices At The Open Sanctuary Project

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    Photo by Clarissa Watson on Unsplash

    Here at The Open Sanctuary Project, we are committed to carrying out our mission of providing the most compassionate sanctuary animal care resources possible. As we are primarily a written resource, language is one of the most important tools that we have in our toolkit. Therefore, we find it crucial to be mindful in how we employ and treat language across our platform. Our philosophy of language is primarily driven by two considerations: accessibility and respect.

    A Resource For Everybody

    Because we believe that our resources should be available to anyone doing the important work of compassionate animal care, we strive to keep all of our resources’ language simple and accessible. When we refer to terms that might not be commonly known, we will ensure that an explanation is available close by. Caring for animals, especially farmed animals, is not always simple, but the language of compassionate care should be.

    We are also committed to providing resources that are welcoming to all, and will never publish content that is intentionally discriminatory about a human’s race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, health, disability, age, economic status, family status, religion, political views, or place of residence.

    A Resident-Centered Approach

    When we talk about the ethos of respect, we are referring to treating all animals discussed in The Open Sanctuary Project as individuals deserving of the same consideration we’d treat a good friend. We do not refer to animals by the ways that they are used by humans (such as referring to an animal as a “meat” breed), nor do we refer to individuals with the pronoun “it”. A resident’s food is just food, not “feed”. These are just a few areas where we work to be mindful of our language choices.

    While this reframing of language for animals may seem trivial to some, we believe it is important to always respect those that deserve compassion in whatever areas we can. Language is the way we interface with and categorize the world around us, and our choice of language plays a large role in how we consider others.

    To learn a lot more about the subject of language choices, check out our free resource here!

    'Farmed' Vs 'Farm' Animals

    You may notice that The Open Sanctuary Project frequently refers to species like cows, chickens, and pigs as “farmed” animals, rather than the more commonly used “farm” animals. This is a conscious choice, as we believe it is important to distinguish that farming is done to these species, not something that is an innate part of who they are. Many farmed animal sanctuaries prefer to use the more common term, especially in their organization’s name, which is fine too! The more common term is likely to be recognized and searched for by members of the public.

    Although we are committed to our philosophy of language, sometimes less appropriate language may slip through the cracks from time to time! If you find a resource that is using language that you believe falls outside of our philosophy, please contact us and we will make corrections as necessary.

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