Tuesday, January 13, 2009

PETA - Fish are sea kittens, don't eat kittens!

Fish are now "sea kittens" according to PETA's latest ploy to get people to stop eating meat of any kind.
"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.


  1. As soon as a salmon comes up to me, plops itself into my lap, and purrs like a Mercedes, then crawls up to my shoulder to give me lickies, I'll probably stop eating fish. But my cats probably won't.

    PETA just seems to get more and more unhinged with each passing year; what on earth is it they expect kittens to EAT, if eating animal products is always wrong? Please tell me they're not pooh-poohing the whole "obligate carnivore" thing, on top of everything else.

  2. Andee J., I just snorted out loud! That is too funny, obviously PETA didn't think of what land kittens would eat if they weren't eating sea kittens. :-D

    Does anybody else remember that freakin' sickly-looking lion from that Futurama episode where the hippy protesters have forced it to live on tofu?

  3. Andee J - Shit, I never even thought of that - a salmon plopping in my lap and purring and giving licks and love bites.....roflol

    Premee - I do remember that lion, and it was sickly looking for sure.

  4. There *are* people who attempt to keep their cats vegetarian. Seems unnecessarily cruel, IMO.

  5. Vegan dogs are one thing - while I personally don't think it's a very nice thing to do to them, they can live just fine on it if you know what you're doing.

    Cats are an entirely different matter. They need a particular chemical, that is only found naturally in meat, in order to survive. There are vegan canned foods out there with a synthesized version, but even many of the creators admit that some cats have medical problems if they are fed only that.

  6. Wasn't there a study not too long ago that confirmed fish DO NOT feel pain? I'm too tired tonight to research it, but I'm pretty sure that was the result of the study.
    Being an avid boater and fisherwoman, (taught by my elk/deer/grouse/duck/geese/fish killer husband) I enjoy fishing. It's a skill, a talent, an art. And it's a necessity for some. I dare say, that poor PETA member may not even be here if not for all the meat eating that occured many generations before her.

    As far as calling them sea kittens...give me a break. The next time I reel in a 22 lb Coho salmon I'll be saying "Heeeeeere kitty, kitty, kitty!".

  7. Dogs are more omnivorous than cats. You can probably get away with feeding them vegetarian dog food; although it's probably not optimal nutrition, they'll survive. If cats don't get animal protein, they DIE. There's a reason no reputable pet food company will make vegan cat food; they don't want to be sued into the 22nd century.

    Also, I hate to break the news to them, but fish...eat each other. Were these people paying any attention at all in fourth grade science?

    (This is Meowser, BTW; I didn't know what name I was logged in as before.)

  8. This vegetarian is no Peta supporter, but I think this campaign is certainly an improvement for Peta. No naked women. No naked underage girls. No passing out literature of barbaric acts to children at the circus. No sexual innuendos in places populated by families. Yup, it's an improvement.

    I also think that some of you might be missing the point of the campaign, which is intended to be ridiculous to illustrate exactly how ridiculous fish-eating is. As a culture, we tend to love and defend those animals we consider "cute," usually fluffy creatures with large eyes and expressive expressions. Fish are neither cute nor fluffy, and so, they're open game (pun intended). I think the campaign is intended to make fish-eaters question why it is they make a pet (and for many pet-owners, a family member) of one animal, and then cruelly catch and eat another animal. Whether or not fish are sentient beings is a moot point when you consider that their life is still ended to satisfy our selfish palates.

    And actually, economically speaking, meat and slaughterhouses have mechanized to the point where they require very little personnel to staff them. It would actually be more financially stimulating for our economy if the nation depended on a largely vegetarian diet. Apart from the health benefits of a plant-based diet, it would also be more environmentally-friendly and socially-friendly, too (world hunger demands could be met if the lands currently used for livestock were converted to crop lands, instead). And while its true that cats need a protein found only in meat, I don't think that the fact that cats need meat or that fish eat other fish can be used as an argument to justify human consumption of meat. My cat also licks her ass and the asses of my other cats -- should I devolve to her level and do the same?

    It's estimated that between 1 and 3 percent of the nation are vegetarian. Saying that those who support a vegetarian lifestyle are "pushing" their views on others is like saying that American atheists are oppressing American Christians. Even Peta has the right to freedom of speech... and you have the right not to listen. If you are adamant in your right to eat the flesh of another animal, why should a Peta campaign make you feel guilty about your food choices? Perhaps, it's not Peta making you feel guilty, but rather your conscience.

  9. I know I am certainly not the only one but I would just like to voice the fact that I am a vegetarian and I despise PETA. My biggest moral concern about eating meat is the treatment of the animals. As much as I personally don't like eating meat when really bothers me is an animal living its days in cruel conditions before it goes to the dinner plate. I personally feel that conditions for both farm raised and wild caught fish are not really much different than those in the wild. Actually they are probably better (dying at the hands of another animal or from starvation is still dying-vegetarianism doesn't make animals immortal!)So for these reasons I actually would and sometimes do eat fish. The real reason I don't is that I really can't stand the taste of seafood and the longer I have been a vegetarian the more I dislike it's flavor and texture. So I say "Death to the sea-kittehs"

  10. What upsets me is that this is being directed toward children. It seems to me that Peta has no regard for how sensitive children are when they are trying to get their point across. I once ordered the free kids pack from Peta and was pretty horrified at the "comic books" they sent detailing the treatment of cows & chickens at slaughter. While this sea kitten thing is not nearly as shocking as those comic books, I feel like they'll do anything to "turn" children.

  11. Saying that those who support a vegetarian lifestyle are "pushing" their views on others is like saying that American atheists are oppressing American Christians. Even Peta has the right to freedom of speech... and you have the right not to listen.

    And we have the right to ridicule PETA if they're being ridiculous. Which they are here. The First Amendment means you can't be thrown in jail for your views, not that they have to be accepted in silence. (Yeah, it's an "improvement" over the sexism and fatphobia of their other campaigns...I guess. And Bush is not quite as bad as Mussolini.)

    Believe me, I have nothing against vegetarians at all -- I was one myself as a teenager in the late 1970s, when it was almost unheard-of (and frankly, a giant pain in the ass) for a suburban teen to be veggie, and it's not out of the question that I could become one again.

    I certainly don't think the amount of animal protein being consumed worldwide is sustainable over the long term, and that as a society it's probably inevitable that meat-free or low-meat meals will become the norm eventually. I eat plenty of meat-free meals myself, sometimes I even go several days without meat.

    But if people become vegetarians or vegans for ethical reasons, which is perfectly understandable, they still have to think about what the implications of that moral code might be for other animals, especially those for whom we have direct personal resposibility. Even if you don't eat animal products, your cat must. (And I do know vegans who own cats, and all of the ones I know are smart enough to concede that some species, like felines, don't have as much gustatory flexibility as humans.)

    Yeah, it's an interesting subject -- why "cute" animals are less likely to be eaten than "ugly" ones -- but when the animal you choose to make this point is one that eats smaller members of its own species, it's going to look pretty risible, I'm sorry.

    Andee (Meowser)

  12. The hardest thing about being a vegan isn't how omnis treat me, but how the idiots at PETA make the rest of us look. My co-workers are going to be at me for days about this...

    On the cat thing - I have 3 shelter kittens, and feed them dry food supplemented heavily by fresh kangaroo meat. (Kangaroos are culled as pests here, and they're more environmentally sustainable as a food source, blah blah blah.)

    Frankly, I think a veg*n owner who goes out of their way to find a pet meat substitute (because they're not common) is still probably doing better nutritionally than someone who feeds home brand kibble.

  13. It's natural for humans and animals to eat meat. Vegans are making a lifestyle choice, and I find it annoying when they try to shove it on the rest of us. I don't care what people choose to eat, but we're gonna have a problem when you think I should follow your personal choices.

  14. Um I love PETA, but this is kinda....crazy? I love animals and I think fishing is okay if they are released back into the wild. I eat meat, if we don't what would we do with all the meat and animals in the world? We'd all run out of vegetation. The biggest problem I do have though is, as someone mentioned before, the treatment of animals when they are being slaughtered or raised as food. Another big issue for me is fur, we have cotton, polyester, silk, cashmere, etc, and I don't think we need fur. I mean I understand leather is usefull etc and maybe fur, but killing an animal JUST to obtain leather and fur is plain wrong. At least eat the rest of the animal and if thats not possible, like foxes, etc, then don't kill the animal in the first place. I understand fishing is natural and people have done it way back then for food so I think that is okay. But fishing for a sport...not so much...neither is bull fighting etc, and cock fighting, you get the point.

  15. To say Fish are the Sea Kittens of the world is frankly ridiculous.

    However, I think we should eat less fish for the following facts/ reasons:

    1) we are overfishing (ie taking out more than the ecosystem will be able to deal with) all over the world, to the extent that many species are endangered (sharks, most types of tuna, some salmon, orange roughy - see Greenpeace's Red List for more details)
    2) industrial fishing methods are crap: at best we get 25% bycatch, at worst 400% (ie in this worst scenario we take 1/5 of the amount we've fished & throw out the other 4/5)
    3) humans are not designed to be vegans; we are omnivores. But the planet isn't designed to cope with (now) almost 7 billion people (likely 25-40% more in 50 years). We have petrochemical-based fertilisers & better healthcare, along with lack of contraception in some parts of the world to thank for spreading across the world but we are at risk of removing way too much of the world's resources, leaving little for generations to come & other species.
    4) Patty: "I eat meat, if we don't what would we do with all the meat and animals in the world? We'd all run out of vegetation." Err, you know it takes many times more land area to support ANY meat production than it does to grow the equivalent food quantity from vegetation?
    5) Fisheries observer Mary Powers: How can not eating or eating something be unpatriotic?!! Oh, I see, if I don't buy what you're trying to sell, I'll be unpatriotic. I'd better get me down to the shops & buy some of that then.


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