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Sunday, October 12, 2008

How can we make PETA illegal?

Usually when people hope to brainwash us they don't announce what their plans are exactly.  PETA, however, has decided to go after sports and commercial fishing and the keeping of an aquarium or any other non-natural aquatic environment in which we imprison water creatures by causing us to think of fish as "sea kittens." They are apparently in no hurry, as perusal of their web site Save the Sea Kittens makes clear. Only a very young child, or someone dim-witted enough to buy into the advertising of McCain and Palin, are vulnerable to this sort of site.

The problem is that these people seem to be serious.  Don't they have something better to do in their spare time?  Or is it that Peta's national organization is going broke thanks to the Wall Street crash which has surely dried up contributions in recent weeks and need a new shtick. Since they have got all of the land and air animals covered already, the only source of new revenue is to drum up contributions for their sea kittens campaign.

I have blogged already on the Orwellian notion that language can determine thought and so am not too worried about about the term "sea kitten" causing children to see fish as warm (not so much), fuzzy (not so much), cuddly (not so much) animals.  Moreover, when children get old enough to see that kittens grow up to be not so cuddly cats, as so many do, they will surely begin to wonder what sea kittens grow up to be.  

We already have the term "catfish" but the presence of the morpheme "cat" doesn't seem to inspire people to want to save them from being fished or cultivated on catfish farms or eaten. Their protection, such as it is, consists of nasty projections coming out of their heads ("cat whiskers"?) that can inflict grievous bodily harm as I have myself discovered.  So, I don't hold out much hope for the fate of "sea cats" as helping PETA brainwash our children and our vulnerable adults.  So our sea kittens will have to stay forever young. 

The thing is that for PETA to gain traction with children they ought to encourage them to have aquariums so that they can learn to love fish but PETA has ruled aquariums out.  Indeed my keeping a number of aquariums once did reduce my lust for catching water creatures.  They weren't pets, but they were very alive.  I took notice. 

Home aquarium fish will be small normally so that will perhaps cause them to be seen as lovable little things.  I found a web site kids can go to find sample pet fish names.  And, as an added attraction, with careful training you can get some home raised fish to accept being hand fed but I don't know how to do that exactly.  However if you try to take an aquarium fish out of the water to pet them then something bad is likely to happen.

We have had "bad people -- good water mammal" movies but they haven't inspired anything more than demands that people who hunt whales stop doing so and that people who fish in ocean waters make sure they don't trap dolphins.  I haven't seen or heard of any "good fish -- bad people" movies but there might be some.  Of course, we have also had "bad fish -- good people movies" such as Jaws.   That won't do much for PETA's ambitions.  I suppose PETA will take a pro-shark position and simply demand that we quit getting into the oceans and seas they inhabit on the grounds that we are "trespassing" in their waters.  So we will have to restrict ourselves to playing on the beach.

I think that the answer to this blog's question is that we can't make PETA illegal.  However, if their new campaign to save the sea kittens is any indication, they have pretty much run their course as a viable organization.  At least I hope so.

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11 Comments:

Blogger JC said...

Kittens.

Kittens eat fish.

Case closed.

9:44 AM

 
Blogger The Language Guy said...

jc, this is the shortest bested refutation in my recent or even long time experience.

5:02 PM

 
Blogger Chimera said...

JC: W00t!

PETA doesn't need to be made illegal, but it does need to be recaptured from the filberts who have diverted it from its original purpose, which, if memory serves, was to convince people that torturing animals in various ways was inhumane.

The words, "ethical treatment" used to mean something. No longer.

5:22 PM

 
Blogger JC said...

Hehe, thanks.

I have three of them, nearly a year old now. I'm a slave to their dietary requirements on a daily (and rather expensive) basis.

I don't understand what's happening with animal protection/rights groups these days, even the RSPCA seems to be upsetting people quite frequently.

5:56 PM

 
Blogger SusieQ said...

It sounds like swamps now have rights in Ecuador. Here is an excerpt from their recent Constitution.

"Persons and people have the fundamental rights guaranteed in this Constitution and in the international human rights instruments. Nature is subject to those rights given by this Constitution and Law."

Rights for sea kittens can't be far behind.

10:27 PM

 
Blogger The Language Guy said...

I was joking about making it illegal. Susieq, you have brought an interesting situation to light. I suspect that the Ecuadorian Constitution is designed to protect vulnerable areas from destructive forms of exploitation. A LA Times article notes this more positive interpretation.

8:15 AM

 
Blogger SusieQ said...

I read the LA Times article.

Don't you think it is a mistake to extend rights to Nature when other laws can protect Nature from undue exploitation just as well? Extending rights to Nature trivializes human rights in my opinion.

3:35 PM

 
Blogger The Language Guy said...

The issue isn't nature per se, but preservation of essential natural things like forests, the land, etc. That's how I see it. It is not pro-fish in the PETA way but against pollution of fisheries, to take one example.

4:26 PM

 
Blogger expresident said...

Where did you get that PETA was being serious with this campaign? The point, as with all PETA campaigns of this sort, is to encourage people to think about animals we eat in the same context as animals we protect and love. There's a weird doublethink that goes on amongst people who find the notion of killing kittens horrific but don't see anything wrong with killing, for instance, tuna.

If an individual can go to the website and have that thought, PETA will have done their job. They couldn't care less about what people actually call fish. It's called a bait and switch.

10:54 AM

 
Blogger The Language Guy said...

So, they are merely guilty of being intellectually dishonest. I buy that.

1:33 PM

 
Blogger Henry said...

As long as sea kittens are in fact fish, then I am eager to sample them. I shall ask my meal provider to look for some Fancy Feast Grilled Sea Kitten in Aspic.

9:52 PM

 

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