People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling on MLB to eliminate the use of the word ‘bullpen,’ which is also the term used for an enclosure for bulls when not being mentioned in a sports reference.
Their proposal is to start using the phrase “arm barn” instead as they consider it a “more modern, animal-friendly term.”
“Words matter, and baseball’s ‘bullpens’ devalue talented players and mock the misery of sensitive animals,” PETA wrote in a press release.
“In the meat industry, cows are hung upside down and their throats are slit, while in rodeos, gentle bulls are goaded into kicking and bucking by being electroshock,” PETA wrote. “While they await their violent fate, these sensitive, frightened animals are typically held in a “bullpen.”
PETA also linked their proposal to the activists who called on the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves to change their name.
The Indians have already said they will become the Cleveland Guardians next season in an effort to become more inclusive.
“It has perhaps never been more evident that words carry immense power—even within the baseball diamond,” PETA said in their statement. “People are striving to eradicate racist, sexist, homophobic, and ableist phrases (or team names) from our common language.
“But unfortunately, many of us also grew up hearing phrases that condone violence toward animals and perpetuate speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.
“Sayings such as ‘kill two birds with one stone,’ ‘beat a dead horse,’ ‘bring home the bacon,’ and ‘bullpen’ all normalize violent acts against some of the most defenseless members of our society.’
History of the bullpen
It is unlikely the use of bullpen in MLB will stop any time soon as it has been ingrained into baseball culture for around a decade.
The use of bullpen to describe the place where relievers warm up was first used around 1915-24, according to Mental Floss writer David K. Israel.
Israel also writes that no one is actually sure how the term came to be, but there are multiple theories about how it happened.
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