"PETA thought that by renaming fish sea kittens, compassionate people who would never dream of hurting a dog or a cat might extend that sympathy to fish, or sea kittens," PETA campaign coordinator Ashley Byrne says.
Well, I'm used to having dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, gold fish, goats, donkeys, geese, ducks, rabbits, and chickens as pets (I've had them all at one time or another). About the only ones of those I wouldn't eat are dogs, cats, gold fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, and donkeys. This is not to say that other cultures don't eat any of those animals, and it's not my place to judge if they are right or wrong in what animals they choose to eat (or not, as the case may be). I'm just saying that I wouldn't eat the ones I listed.
"Fish not only have the same ability to feel pain as a dog or a cat, but they also communicate with one another," she says. "They have complex social interactions; they form bonds; they express affection by gently rubbing against one another."
Fish also eat their young and the young of other fish species, it's part of being in the food chain. And Ms Byrne, have you ever been in the mind of a fish? How do you know what they're expressing? Have you bothered to set up a large enough environment so you could actually study interactions between fish? Do you even know what the hell you're talking about, or are you just making shit up to make people feel bad about their food choices? What's next? Telling us that plants have feelings too so we shouldn't be eating them either, we should all just starve to death and let the plants and animals take over the earth? I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not that altruistic, and I don't think you are either.
"Most parents would never dream of spending a weekend torturing kittens for fun with their families, but hooking a sea kitten through the mouth and dragging her through the water is the same as hooking a kitten through the mouth and dragging her behind your car," Byrne says.
I don't know what statistics you're looking at, but I don't think implying that most parents advocate torturing fish by taking their children fishing is anywhere close to being true. If you looked at the numbers of people in the United States who fish and compare that with the numbers of people who don't, it's not going to come up to anywhere close to being able to say most of 3 billion people fish.
"I don't understand how it makes sense," says fisheries observer Mary Powers, who works on fishing boats to collect data on the catches. She thinks the campaign, which encourages people to petition the Fish and Wildlife Service to stop the hunting of sea kittens, is misguided. "It seems like it's discouraging Americans to buy our product, which I think is unpatriotic."
It doesn't make sense, but then, not much that PETA does makes sense. It doesn't have to, all it has to do is get them publicity and donations so they can keep on making ridiculous claims and getting more publicity and more donations (talk about a vicious circle).
But Byrne says that even if people lose jobs in the fishing industry through the success of the campaign, they could find work in more sea-kitten-friendly environments.
"So as there is less of a demand for foods like fish, there is more of a demand for other foods, and jobs open up in those industries," Byrne says.
What other food-related industries are you talking about, Ms Byrne? Has to be all those processed foods (no meat, no milk, no eggs) that you think everyone should be eating, along with fruits and veggies, because I know you're not talking about being able to work on farms that raise meat animals for slaughter, nor are you talking about working in the packing plants where those animals are killed and processed. All the people that you want to put out of work by getting everyone to quit eating any kind of animal product probably will not be able to find jobs anywhere else (especially in the economy we have right now). But you don't care about that, people don't matter to you, their livelihoods don't matter to you. All that matters to you is that you get to spread your fanaticism to the rest of the world. You have a problem there, though, not everyone is buying your particular brand of bullshit.
All of this is not to say that I think vegetarians/vegans are wrong for not eating meat/animal products. It's their choice, and I respect them for that, and I'm not going to push my food preferences on them. I would hope that most of them feel the same way about my food preferences. I think everyone should be free to make whatever choices they want about the food they put in their bodies, and not be made to feel guilty about those choices.