Recently, PETA has been highlighting the use of 'anti-animal' phrases asking people to stop and switch. For example:
Instead of - Kill two birds with one stone
Say - Feed two birds with one scone.
Instead of - Be a guinea pig
Say - Be a test tube.
Instead of - Beat a dead horse
Say - Feed a fed horse.
Instead of Bring home the bacon
Say - Bring home a bagel.
Instead of Take the bull by the horns
Say - Take the flower by the thorns.
Most of the news reports about this use of language are directed with either sarcasm or hostility toward PETA but they are right. The language used about animals is negative and violent. Our language always results in actions.