The reason to avoid animal cliches goes beyond simply using unimaginative, non-creative communication. They are actually dangerous, perhaps disastrous for healthy human-animal interactions. The following examples will make you change your risky, villainous, horrid behavior.
It's cruel to say mock turtleneck. It pokes fun at people with turtle necks. You know, the one who have a severe upper body slouch and a neck that juts out, like a turtle. And in turn, this causes severe self-esteem issues for the real turtle. How would you like your biological stature to be a running joke linked to poorly postured people? Stand up straight and reflect on that for awhile.
Other sayings to avoid? Well, there's the obvious: More than one way to skin a cat. Now, some people may tell you that this refers to catfish, but that is not the way it's being said. Think of the sensitive cat. No wonder cats don't come when you call them. They think you're skulking around with a butcher knife, waiting for the chance to pry their gorgeous fur straight off their body.
Which leads me to: raining cats and dogs. Could mean a heavy rain pour. Or, could be some sick-o dumping our companion animals off a bridge onto a highway. Poor things. They would be skedaddling around speeding cars to safety. One of them might even trip and break a paw nail.
We need to talk about the elephant in the room. Okay, now that saying could ruin furniture. Suppose a guest didn't know it was only a saying. The next time she showed up, she could bring her elephant. How do you politely let a guest know that her pet will break your kitchen chairs when it sits down for dinner? That little creature would feel simply awful. And, the elephant would never forget what she had done.
**One of the only true cliches--an elephant never forgets**
What's good for the goose is good for the gander. This implies that females should be mimicking males. That they ought to be male groupies. That they automatically want manliness. Well, ganders are where it's at. If you ever go to a pond and study the geese, you will definitely find that ganders have a louder honk, whiter feathers, and cuter beaks. The male goose drools, farts, and when they bite human ankles they are much less fierce than the females. Scientific facts.
Takes two to tango. This obviously means geckos. It is a subliminal, animalist statement. Picture a gecko, with their lithe body and round, suction cup fingers. Can't you just see them doing the cheek to cheek on the dance floor? Standing on hind legs, chests pressed against one another, faces so close they can feel the smoothness of their reptilian skins lightly touching. The eyes with peripheral vision able to watch where they are going, and gaze at one another in sensual passion. Tails dragging behind, looped together. Now do you see how this cliche simply must be about the gecko?
But, it is biased and potentially cruel. Anytime we assume that because most geckos would make fabulous dancers, all of them must possess the talent, we are ostracizing the clumsy ones. Serious self-esteem issues naturally arise. We humans need to be better than that. Don't plaster geckos with 'two to tango' labeling. Goodness knows they have enough troubles trying to keep up with all of that car insurance quoting.
When the cows come home. What if the cows don't want to come home? What if they desire nothing more than to hit the bars for Margarita Mondays? Do they even get a chance to play Bingo on a Friday evening? Bowling night? No, cows get none of this. Because some stupid cliche regulates their night time prowls to the barn. Every night of the week! Those cows work hard chewing grass all day long. Shouldn't they get at least a monthly break? Yearly vacation? Day off for Christmas, or whatever holiday they are in to?
Does a bear make bowel movements in the woods? Do I talk about you in this offensive way? Discuss your toiletries as if they were frivolous and non-deserving of respect? What a bear chooses to do with their colon discharge should be a private matter. It is none of my business what you think of me, and none of any bodies business where a bear conducts his business. So there.
Don't kiss a dog who eats poop. Okay, yeah, so I made this one up. But it is the only cliche that should ever be used. It rolls off the tongue smoothly, is honest and direct, and needs to be adhered to with urgency. If a dog is offended with this cliche, then perhaps it is time for him to do a bit of soul searching. Know thyself, thy dog, and what is obnoxious to your human friends.
With all of the hideous things that come out of animal cliches, it is a wonder they still put up with us humans. Please, be kind. Watch what comes out of your mouth. One cliche has the potential to seriously harm the other sentient beings on our planet. As they are more tactful than we'll ever be, they won't tell you how painful your words are. It is up to us to end the oral violence that is being imposed upon them.
Be kind to animals, don't cliche them.
The best way to give back to our faithful friends
is to buy a book that celebrates a strong, attitude-prone elephant:
Appreciator of mindful sentences regarding animals.