'Your goose is cooked': Vegans declare war on meat metaphors

Phrases like "bringing home the bacon" and "your goose is cooked" have been labelled offensive to vegans and vegetarians, who want them replaced with animal-friendly alternatives.

Swansea University researcher Shareena Hamzah warns the growth of vegetarianism and veganism could lead to dramatic changes in our language as meat metaphors are dropped for plant-based alternatives.

"The increased awareness of vegan issues will filter through our consciousness to produce new modes of expression," she wrote for The Conversation.

"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'".

Animal rights group PETA has embraced the call for change, compiling a list of new acceptable terms.

"The words that we use have the power to influence those around us. Unfortunately, many of us grew up hearing common phrases that perpetuate violence toward animals," it says on its website.

"While these phrases may seem harmless, they carry meaning and can send mixed signals to students about the relationship between humans and animals and can normalise abuse."

Harmful phrases include "let the cat out of the bag", which is replaced by "spill the beans".

"Take the bull by the horns" becomes "take the flower by the thorns", while "all your eggs in one basket" has been dropped for the more PC "all your berries in one bowl".