I do know the history of the Normanization of England and how it led to what is now English and our split food/on-the-hoof terms. But that was 1066.
I agree it is the meaning we assign to words, not the words themselves, that matter (hence my recent bitch diatribes).
But in a “words matter” discourse 1000 years later, I ask, how do those animal words feel in the mouth of an English speaker? How does it affect your perception of what you are eating? A nice roast cow, anyone?
Because of our split language, we have come to identify one word with the living animal and the other with the dismembered foodstuff. So, do we achieve a comfortable distance through language?
My point, using animal terms as an example, is really about how misogynistic language can commoditfy or dehumanize women (Read: piece of ass, cunt, bitch, cow, pig …) leading to treating them as such.