PETA in the news again: "Sea Kittens" campaign making me hungry

Categories: Sheehan (RIP)

seakitten.jpg

There is almost nothing I can say about this that wouldn't get me picketed.  Direct from the PETA website at www.peta.org:


People don't seem to like fish. They're slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads--which is weird, to say the least. Plus, the small ones nibble at your feet when you're swimming, and the big ones--well, the big ones will bite your face off if Jaws is anything to go by.

Of course, if you look at it another way, what all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy--stat. Whoever was in charge of creating a positive image for fish needs to go right back to working on the Britney Spears account and leave our scaly little friends alone. You've done enough damage, buddy. We've got it from here. And we're going to start by retiring the old name for good. When your name can also be used as a verb that means driving a hook through your head, it's time for a serious image makeover. And who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?

Ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop promoting sea kitten hunting.

Yes, that's right. PETA is currently campaigning to have the name "fish" changed to "sea kitten." This is the group's idea of progressive protest, of fighting a war of semantics rather than one of logic or reason or...

I don't even know how to respond to this, other than to point out a couple of flaws. First, it has been widely reported that sharks will not "bite your face off," a la Jaws. Even the author of the book, Peter Benchley, has come out strongly against his own portrayal of the shark as a man-eating monster, and has worked as an environmental activist for years on behalf of sharks and other sea kittens.

Second, most fish that we eat in restaurants or get in the grocery store aren't line-caught. They're scooped up in giant nets that also catch lots of seaweed and old tires and disposable diapers and six-pack rings and dolphins and mermaids and sea monsters. Once netted, they are either suffocated or clubbed in the head or decapitated. None of this overshadows the fact that they are delicious, and that the only way to get them from the ocean to my belly is to kill them.

Finally, trying to get people to call them sea kittens? That's just ridiculous. I'd actually be more apt to eat them if the name were changed. What PETA should do is try to get people to call fish by their real, non-PR-spun names. Like that delicious Chilean sea bass you had last night -- would you have been as likely to eat it had the menu called it a Patagonian toothfish? And a picture of one might've just scared you right off. Those things are ugly as sin when swimming, and downright terrifying once landed and given over to the ravages of gravity.

Better yet, maybe PETA can expand this campaign and start renaming some other things that it doesn't want people to eat. Like if cows were renamed Prairie Otters or pigs Pork Babies. Because seriously? I could really go for a nice fat otter steak and some pork baby ribs right about now.


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