Skip To Content
The Schmooze

PETA, You Can Take Our Meat, But You Can Never Take Our Bagels

PETA has decided that bagels — arguably the most (American) Jewish food there is — have fewer rights than animals.

This is simply too far.

On Tuesday at around 4 pm, PETA made a splash on Twitter (no fish or sea creatures were harmed.) Over a simple infographic a bold headline proclaimed, “Stop Using Anti-Animal Language.” The animal welfare group proposed adjusting common idioms and phrases that could be viewed as needlessly anti-animal.

“Kill two birds with one stone,” they suggested, should be revised to be the less homicidal, more Mary Poppins-eque “feed two birds with one scone” (even though it could be argued that scones are very bad for birds and you should NOT give them bites of your scone as the butter content alone could very well kill them, too. But we digress.)

“Just as it became unacceptable to use racist, homophobic, or ableist language, phrases that trivialize cruelty to animals will vanish as more people begin to appreciate animals for who they are and start ‘bringing home the bagels’ instead of the bacon,” PETA tweeted by way of explanation.

Look, we get it — language is important. The way we talk about things influences the way we think about things, which in turn affects the way people act. And considering that the mission of PETA is to end animal abuse as well as human consumption of animals, it makes sense that they’d want to make sure things like taking home bacon or killing two birds with a stone are considered things that should never ever be ok.

But dragging bagels into things? Was the bagel really the only other non-animal food that starts with a “B”? We can think of like four off the top of our heads that don’t unnecessarily malign an important Jewish cultural heritage. “Biscuit” or “broccoli” or “bean sprouts” would have all been excellent options.

Besides, as any true bagel connoisseur knows, bagels can only be eaten one way: with lox and a schmear of cream cheese, the former being derived from an animal and the latter an animal byproduct.

Further, bagels contain eggs which, according to true animal rights people, is again, extremely problematic.

This bagel gambit is full of holes.

Not only did PETA decide to malign Jewish Ashkenazi heritage, they leaned into their new identity as bagel enemies. They made it their pinned tweet. They even changed their Twitter name to “PETA: Bringing Home The Bagels Since 1980.” Not only have they declared war on the dearest of Jewish foods, they have re-branded using our Jewish heritage. Have the Jewish people not suffered enough?

Michelle Honig is the style writer at the Forward. Contact her at [email protected]. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.