Planternative is a group of, mainly Icelandic, artists, copywriters and tech savvy animal lovers who have created a browser extension that replaces meaty words with the truth — with this add on milk would be shown as squeezed mammal juice.
Vegan Life Spoke to Gabriel Bachmann and Thordur Hans Baldursson about Planternative and what they hope to achieve.
So what exactly is Planternative? Bachmann says: “It’s a translation engine that corrects commonly accepted but misleading terms. This means that any time you’re browsing the web and might stumble upon a word such as ‘beef’ our new add-on, planternative, will automatically translate it into something more true or literal like ‘murdered cow’ or ‘a cow’s flesh’.
“Another example [is] if you go to Wikipedia [and search] the word ‘bacon’ the word will be randomly translated to a selection of synonyms we’ve thoughtfully curated. Everywhere the word bacon should show up on the page planternative will have changed it to things like ‘thin pig slices’, ‘torture strips’, ‘overly salted pig flesh’ or even ‘Australian-American comedy-drama Babe’s processed flesh’.”
Thordur came up with the idea after working in a restaurant which served meat. Thordur told us: “Some time ago, before I became vegan, I was in an Asian restaurant and one of the dishes on the menu listed chicken meat as an ingredient. My mind immediately made a completely different association than it would have if it would just have said chicken.
“This got me thinking about language and how the slightest variation from what we as a society have normalised can totally change how we see everyday things. The whole farce about Donald Trump and his alternative truth also sparked some thoughts. It was around that time we decided to delve into the planternative truth.”
People are, not without justification, worried about installing add ons. Should people be worried?
Bachmann said: “Not at all, the add-on is as simple a piece of software as could be. And by simply clicking planternative’s logo in your browser bar you disable it until you decide to click it again.”
“It’s really just a basic word replacement extension,” continued Thordor. “The bulk of the work was in creating content. The extensions itself is harmless but hopefully it will change the way people see the world. That might maybe be considered dangerous.”
And what do they hope to achieve? Bachmann says: “ I hope we will open the eyes of some people when they see how disturbing and weird the alternative truth of our current food culture is. I also kind of hope some young brave vegans will want to prank their carnist parents and install planternative on their browsers or even in school or library computers so it can reach as many people’s minds as possible.”
You can even suggest your own planternative words on their website.
Download the add on here.