Doublespeak is language that obscures the meaning of words, in an effort to make the truth sound more agreeable. The term is inspired by George Orwell’s 1949 dystopian novel 1984, and since then, doublespeak has found its way into marketing efforts – particularly in the animal agriculture industry.
The meat industry uses doublespeak by using terms such as “humane” when referring to slaughter. The dairy industry uses flowery language like “caring dairy” and imagery of cows in green pastures in their advertisements. This stands in stark contrast to the reality of factory farmed milk, and the abuse that has been revealed at operations like Fairlife.
Eggs are marketed with newspeak, too. “Cage-Free” eggs makes it sound like the birds have total freedom, when most are still in overcrowded factory farm conditions. The fishing industry uses terms like “dolphin safe” tuna, and Marine Stewardship Council (or MSC) certified environmentally-friendly fish when these terms are incredibly difficult to regulate. Due to bycatch and overfishing, neither of those promises hold any merit.