by J. M. Sylvan
American Reporter Correspondent
New York, N.Y.
January 20, 2009
FAMILY TALES FROM NYC
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Would you eat a kitten?
If People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had their way you would. They've launched a campaign to show the world how stupid they can be - I mean, to rename fish as "sea kittens."
Those crazy kids over at PETA want to improve the fish's image, and get us to stop eating them.
"People don't seem to like fish," says the PETA website, which features cartoon fish with kitten faces and whiskers. "They're slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads."
Pointy heads? Slimy? Are they talking about fish or lawyers? Besides, people like fish just fine. The small ones make great pets, and the big ones taste great grilled with some lemon and butter.
What about cat lovers? They'll be upset to learn that their little furry bundles of joy are now being equated with something that's slithery, slimy, and eats worms If you think a deranged animal rights activist is something to worry about, wait until you get a pissed-off cat lover narrowing its eyes and arching its back. I'd sooner stand between a mother bear and her cub.
And of course, PETA makes no distinction between the fish we eat and the fish that eat us. Are we supposed to call sharks sea kittens? Is sea tigers more appropriate? And what about freshwater fish? "Sea" means saltwater, so this presents its problems.
"(W)hat all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy - stat," they continue, ignoring their sexism. "(W)e'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."
It's obvious the PETA people have never fished, since fishing doesn't mean putting a hook through a fish's head. That's called "baiting the hook." Fishing is the act of getting a fish to bite a hook to get it driven through its lip.
"And who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?"
Me, because then I can catch bigger sea kittens and eat them.
What does this new term do to our language? Will we change commonly used words and phrases, just to suit their misguided efforts?
Are we now sea kittening for compliments? Is the card game now called Go Sea Kitten? Will people drink like a sea kitten? Will Fishkill, New York now be called Sea Kitten Kill instead? And are catfish going to be called "cat sea kittens?"
And what about high school mascots? Apparently they're not safe either.
According to the Missoulian (Montana) newspaper, PETA even went so far as to write a letter to Whitefish high school principal Kent Paulson (and what were these letter printed on? Harvested and pulped "forest kittens?!).
"Neurobiologists tell us that fish have complex nervous systems that comprehend and respond to pain," they said. "Fish communicate and develop relationships with one another, show affection by gently rubbing against other fish, and even grieve when their companions die."
If that's the case, then shouldn't I also catch the grieving spouse to help put an end to its misery. It's the only thing decent thing to do.
PETA has also asked Spearfish High School in Spearfish, South Dakota to change their name to "Sea Kitten High School." And they want Palm Beach Atlantic University to change the mascot from the fearsome Sailfish to, you guessed it, more sea kittens.
They have even gone global with their lunacy. John Cobb, Opposition party fisheries spokesman, is very unimpressed with the group.
"It is hard to take an organisation which wants to change the name of fish seriously," Cobb told the Australia News website.
But it was Whitefish school superintendent Jerry House who gave the best response. He told the Missoulian he thinks all of Whitefish, Montana should try the new name, although he likes White Kitten better, since the town is so far from the ocean.
"White Kitten High School, the White Kitten City Council, the White Kitten Fire Department," House said. "It has a certain ring to it, don't you think?"
In White Kitten, House says, criminals would be "arrested by the White Kitten Police Department, and taken to the White Kitten Jail, where you'll be treated with soft, furry paws and a purr of compassion."
He also believes the town of Spearfish is taking the letter seriously.
"Of course they are," he said. "After all, who wants to be on the hook for being insensitive to kittens?"
I love this guy's sense of humor. It's a real kick in the pants.
Sure beats getting a hook to the head.
Erik publishes this column and other humorous articles at his Erik Deckers' Laughing Stalk blog.