Monday, June 15, 2009

You wouldn't eat a kitten, would you?

Fish: The Kittens of the Sea

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a new campaign to stop us from eating fish. They're re-naming fish. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried, so I'll just quote from their own website:
...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.

Aha! The REAL reason behind the campaign to rename fish sea kittens. (You may guffaw now.)

It turns out fishing is evil because it hurts the widdle sea kitties to have hooks driven through their furry (I mean scaly) little heads.

I suspect their campaign won't work too well on grown-ups who remember fondly the lazy Sunday afternoons spent torturing sea kittens with their dads then taking the carcasses home to their moms in order to indulge in their murderous cannibalistic rituals of devouring flesh. BUT the campaign isn't really designed for adults; it's for kids!

C'mon kids, let's go make our own virtual "sea kittens" on the "create your own sea kitten" page. Or let's read a bedtime story like this one called Playing Chase: (Again, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried)...

Fred the Flounder is a sea kitten with an eye for fun and a nose for mischief.

Growing up, he spent all his time playing chase with the other sea kittens in his school.

But overfishing has left him morose and alone.

Now he just endlessly chases his tail, thinking of a happier time.


Please Don't Eat the Sea Kittens
Something tells me someone at PETA has a sense of humor.


Mary G said...

I don't know ... in the midst of Lent, when I can not stomach one more tuna casserole (and if kittens were considered "meatless") ... maybe I would eat a kitten ... just kidding, of course!

Wow, the extent to which some will go to convince us that all creation is more important than humans... I mean after all, would you abort a "sea kitten"!

Anna said...

we're fond of repeating the old adage...

for every animal you don't eat, I'll eat three...

well, maybe not THREE, but I'll certainly have one.

maybe two... :)))

Anonymous said...

I think you are being too harsh. No one is saying that animals are more important than human, just equal! For believing in a faith that honors life so highly, and eating meat is a very ruthless and hypocritical act.

Debbie said...

If eating meat is wrong, and if humans and animals are equals, then how do you explain animals who eat meat and don't feel guilty about it? Yet humans (vegetarians at least) feel guilty about it. Therefore, humans must have some higher level of consciousness than animals. Therefore humans and animals AREN'T equal after all.

Anonymous said...

Yes humans have a higher level of consciousness than other animals, but I think where your logic fails is when you equate this with being superior to other species. What if one human has a higher level of consiousness than another human (maybe with a developmental disorder)--does that make one better and more important than the other? Obviously not. Every species is different, but we are all important!

And yes, animals eat animals everywhere, it's the food chain and the cycle of life. But humans are advanced enough to have so many more options now, that it is no longer necessary that we create suffering by eating other animals for every meal. It's a choice now, not a necessity. And many people are choosing death and suffering. (let alone choosing a very inefficient energy path)

Debbie said...

Consciousness is just one example of being "higher order" in the animal kingdom. You can look at many different aspects of humanity to find we are vastly superior to other species. For example, what other species creates, plays and appreciates music the way humans do? Music provides no basic need...nothing in the way of nutrition or shelter or companionship, yet all cultures have some form of music. Even developmentally disabled humans can appreciate music. (Some idiot savants even astound us with their abilities to play music).

In fact, why limit us to a discussion of music? What about all the arts...painting, sculpture, architecture, theater, dance...these are done by humans for the sheer enjoyment of doing it. If any animals engage in forms of music or dance it is for mating purposes and not a bunch of them getting together to hang out and listen to a concert.

But your argument falls flat when you say, "But humans are advanced enough to have so many more options now, that it is no longer necessary that we create suffering by eating other animals for every meal." Advanced? Why haven't any other species advanced enough to choose what they eat? Because they can't choose. Only humans have free will. Other animals have instinct. Yes, you can train a dog to do tricks, but if you dangle a steak in front of him he'll eat it. He can't help himself.

By the way, thanks for the comments. I find this a very interesting topic and I appreciate your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that humans have evolved to become more superior in many ways than other species of animal, and we are of "higher order". And with our free will and ability to choose, we have developed morals and ethics. My morals and ethics tell me that killing another living being is wrong, no matter what sort of "lower order" they belong to.

Why does our higher order and higher evolutionary status grant us the authority to kill other lower animals? I think many Christians would answer with "God put animals on this earth for us to exploit and use" but that isn't enough for me. I think God would want us to use compassion to treat these animals well, only using their flesh if it was for survival (meat used to be necessary for survival but is no longer so with the variety of food options available to us). Since I have free will and the right to choose, I choose to treat all animals (including human animals) with compassion, while remaining just as heathy if not MORE healthy that humans that do not practice the same unconditional compassion.

Phew! I'm glad you appreciate my thoughts because I did not mean to offend you (or anyone else) but simply give a voice to the animals!

Debbie said...

I think I have a better understanding of your position now. Would you then reconsider your first statement that animals are "equal"?

I support your decision to not eat meat out of concern for animals, but I disagree that we can't "have compassion" for animals and still eat meat. Because they are of lower order than humans, they don't actually think in terms of past, present, future (as in: "yesterday I was a calf, today I'm a cow, and tomorrow I'll be a hamburger.") They really only live in the here and now. They don't have immortal souls. Yes, some animals feel a certain amount of pain, but certainly not to the degree that people feel pain and certainly not the psychological pain that humans feel upon faced with their imminent death. For proof that animals don't experience pain the way humans do, observe an animal giving observe a human.

Recently I was walking along a nearby lake here in Colorado. We now have seagulls in Colorado (unlike when I was a kid...they've followed the trash to the mountain states). Anyway, there was a seagull bent over a dead gull and letting out a mournful wail. I thought to myself, "how tragic; the poor gull is crying for its dead mate." At least that's how it seemed from a distance. Once I got closer I realized the gull was eating the dead one and the mournful sounds it was making were actually warning sounds to the other gulls to "keep away from my food!"

My point is that thanks to Disney (and others), we've anthropomorphized cute little critters to the point that we actually believe they are like us.

And yes, I DO appreciate your thoughts. So thanks for writing!

Anonymous said...

Well, I figured it might come to this--I'm not willing to reconsider my statement that animals are equal. I don't agree that animals don't think in terms of past/present/future, and I DO think that animals have immortal souls and feel the same psychological pain as humans! I have had this conversation with other Catholics so I figure you probably aren't willing to budge on that one.

Anonymous said...

Here are some articles I found online--I'm interested in this stuff!