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.
Labels: fish, PETA, sea kittens