News from the Natural World: A body conscious Chinese Giant Salamander has demanded that its highly offensive name be changed.
Chang Yong was just your average Salamander, she spent her entire life in a small rocky mountain stream in the Yangtze river basin of central China. She was fully aquatic, weighed about 30kg and was 1.2m in length. One morning she was setting off to catch her breakfast when she saw a human on the side of the riverbank. The human pointed at her and shouted “看妈妈！这是中国巨, 哇，真是巨人” (Look mum! It’s a Chinese Giant Salamander, wow it really is giant!). Giant!? How bloody dare they thought Chang Yong!
Sure, the Chinese Salamander is one of the largest salamanders and one of the largest amphibians in the world. But, Chang Yong really didn’t see how they were giant. She’d seen other animals who came down to the mountain stream to drink water, Pandas, Golden Takins and even humans. The Pandas as well as the Golden Takins were much bigger than she was. On top of that, some of the humans were much fatter and more giant. In fact they were all far bigger than she was. To be called a Giant Salamander was just offensive and rude. Slightly large, 1/4 the size of human, a bit big, weren’t those phrases more accurate?
Chinese Giant Salamander demands name change
Chang Yong said that the name was akin to body shaming. Everywhere she went, every stream she swam in, every time a conservationist took a picture that word was there looming like a shadow. The word GIANT. She was body conscious, ashamed and no one wanted to be constantly judged on there size. Sure some evenings she went a bit mad hunting fish, sure sometimes she had one too many freshwater crayfish. But this was just too far! Couldn’t she just be called a Salamander? Calling her giant was fat shaming, also don’t even get her started on the Chinese bit. Typical humans always needing to group and divide everything.