The Animal Kingdom. Majestic. Breathtaking. Also, masogonistic and racist and outdated. Even the name, Animal Kingdom, amirite? It should at least be the Animal Hierarchy, or, better yet, the Animal Republic. Aside from that, however, are scores of animals saddled with horribly white male-centric naming conventions and embarrassing references to the whims of early explorers. There are hundreds of animals that should be renamed for the good of society’s conscience and in the name of progress, but the following are the 10 most aggregious.
10. Blue-Footed Booby
I’m convinced ornithologists are perverts. I’m sure they all have a “Well, hello, chickadee” pickup line, and their work involves them describing breasts all day. So, it should be no surprise when an innocent avian like this is given a ridiculous and hurtful name like Booby. If anything we should be focusing on their crazy raccoon eyes that look like they could shoot lasers at you.
Name Change: Overly Attached Gull-Friend
Ornithologists? Really? I just went over this about the Booby and you double down with Titmouse. This poor bird is neither a mouse, nor does its chest deserve any mention. It’s flat as board (no offense, birdie). Say something about it’s dumb hairstyle instead.
Name Change: Petite FauxHawk
This is a personal pet peeve of mine, being from Mexico, and in that I explain to people that my parents are from the state of Chihuahua, the usual response is, “Chihuahua? Like named after the dog?!?!” Ugh. Further, it’s just not a very gracious name for this majestic and awe-inspiring bundle of springs that have spearheaded not only several Taco Bell commercials, but also multiple Cheech Marin movie vehicles.
Name Change: The Only Mexican that can get near Paris Hilton (maybe a little wordy)
7. Dung Beetle
OK, entomologists, we get it. This beetle pushes around a globe of elephant shit, and you think it’s funny to label them for that one eccentricity. That’s great. What if we called you, Robert Wet His Bed Until He Was 15, PhD? Not so nice, is it, bug collector? So, let’s strike a compromise, shall we? You can keep the poop reference, but let the beetle keep some dignity.
Name Change: Atlas of Poo Beetle
6. Emperor Penguin
Look at this jerk. The squinty eyes, looking down on you for your inferiority. He just reeks of entitlement (and bird excrement). Why? Because he’s an emperor. Riiiiight. He’s a fat, waddling, barely-mobile bird that lives at the bottom of the world, and doesn’t even have the ability to do what all birds should be able to do: Fly. Those thoughtless (mostly male) ornithologists are at it again, giving feminine names to some birds (see #10 and #9 on this list) and cool names to ones that have their same body type.
Name Change: Dadbod Penguin
I’m still not convinced this thing isn’t an internet hoax. I’ve been fooled before (damn you, Jackalope!) and the Narwal has Photoshop written all over it. However, if this really does exist in nature, marine biologists are burying the lead. This is a whale with a giant unicorn horn sticking out of head. It’s a real imaginary animal! If Bigfoot, Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster actually existed and Narwals didn’t, we would be talking about grainy footage from the 1950s of this thing surfacing off the coast of Nantucket, then never being seen again.
Name Change: Louis Armstrong Whale*
*(cuz it’s got such a strong Horn)
4. Grizzly Bear
Every Wikipedia and reference book I read always say the same thing. “Grizzly” is indicative of the golden, gray tipped hair the bear has, and should not be confused with the word “Grisly”. Uh-huh. Then how do you explain it’s scientific name: Ursus horribilis? Of course these bears end up being man-eaters. You’ve profiled them unjustly with this ‘horribilis’ label, and treated them as killers so why would you expect them to behave any differently? A kinder, more accurate name is order:
Name Change: Grumpy-When-He’s-Hungry Bear
3. Asian Elephant
Do you know how you tell the difference between African and Asian elephants? Well, African elephants have larger ears, head, trunk, better credit, are better looking and generally more well liked. They were voted most likely to Kick the Serengeti’s Ass in High School. The Asian elephant? They had to submit an audition tape to the Animal Planet just to get consideration for inclusion in any documentaries (they’re still waiting for a call back). Well, guess what? Nerds are running the show now, and the smaller, less athletic elephant is getting a makeover, starting with a name change (and getting non-prescription Hipster glasses later).
Name Change: Snarkfelupagus
2. Sea Cucumber
No name change here. These things are disgusting. We should eliminate all Sea Cucumbers and forget they ever existed.
1. Great White Shark
First off, this shark isn’t even mostly white, so its name is completely bogus. This is the epitome of corporate, 1-percenter, Conservative, no compassion marketing that gives other middle-class hard-working sharks a bad name. The Hammerhead Shark? Just trying to feed his family with a construction job. The Blue Shark? Making it’s way in a vast ocean while dealing with crippling depression. And the Nurse Shark? I mean it’s right in the name! But the Great “White” shark? It was born with a silver set of multiple rows of teeth in its mouth, giving it a Great White Privilege that other sea creature will never enjoy. Let’s give this monster the name it deserves.