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PETA: Reaching New Levels of Ridiculousness

PETA fishing for sympathy for 'sea kittens'
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has launched a marketing campaign to rebrand fish as "sea kittens," a name the organization hopes will increase awareness and make the vertebrates more endearing to those who would eat them.

"A lot of people don't realize that fish are capable of feeling fear and pain, that they develop relationships with each other, and even show affection by gently rubbing against one another," says Ashley Byrne, PETA's sea kitten campaign co-ordinator. "Knowing that the fish sticks in the school cafeteria are really made out of tortured sea kittens makes most kids want to lose their lunch."

The advocacy effort, which also addresses environmental concerns about over-fishing, is the latest in a growing list of publicity campaigns by non-profits, conservationists and animal activists that treat "misunderstood" creatures - everything from cats to slugs and spiders - as if they were celebrities in need of better representation.

As a humourous entry on the sea kitten website states, "fish need to fire their PR guy-stat. 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."

Although the youth-focused campaign has drawn snickers from critics, none of PETA's long record of animal rights victories has come without some public mockery. It was by using similar tactics that the organization strong-armed such corporate giants as McDonald's, Safeway, Wendy's, Burger King and, most recently, Canadian KFC restaurants to implement new standards of animal welfare.

On fishinghurts.com, PETA also addresses worldwide concerns about over-fishing.

According to a 2006 Canadian-led study in the journal Science, nearly one-third of all fishing stocks worldwide have declined to less than 10 per cent of their maximum observed abundance. Should depletion continue at this pace, researchers warn all stocks currently fished would collapse by 2050.

But Dalhousie biology professor Jeff Hutchings believes PETA's attempt to address the issue is "misguided" at best.

"Worldwide, we can't even reduce our fishing pressure, so the thought of eliminating fishing altogether is simply absurd," says Hutchings, chairman of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. "Furthermore, any positive benefits that might be realized by drawing attention to the plight of fish are, to my mind, weakened by the costs of a campaign that calls fish 'sea kittens'."

But marketing expert Allen Adamson, who has written several books on branding, believes the strategy is a savvy one in the way it appeals to children.

"Deer are often a nuisance but because of the Bambi image, they get a better ride than a lot of other animals," says Adamson, managing director of global branding firm Landor Associates. "Whatever you can do to make the cause come to life and allow people to emotionally connect to it will make (the message) more effective."

It's not just Nemo who's getting a makeover these days.

The North American CATalyst initiative, helmed by a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, aims to "rebrand the cat . . . and give it a better identity" than its dubious stereotype as the aloof companion to "crazy cat ladies."

The U.K.'s Invertebrate Conservation Trust last year launched Love Spiders, an advocacy campaign "to persuade the public to fall in love with an animal that many people would run a mile from."

And in Canada, Edmonton bug wrangler Terry Thormin has spent the better part of the last two decades promoting respect for insects.

"We've been taught from a very early age that insects are 'creepy crawlies' - and creepy means disgusting, it means bad, it means we shouldn't love them the same way we love our cats and dogs," says Thormin, former acting curator of invertebrate zoology at the Royal Alberta Museum. "There's a real image problem with anything that doesn't have two or four legs."

CuriosityKitten CuriosityKitten 31-35, F 42 Responses Jan 18, 2009

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Sea kittens LOL let's name all the birds baby chickadees and maybe we wouldn't have to eat them! Truly hilarious post there...

Exactly. PETA needs to find something useful to do.

Sea Kittens??? someone has too much free time to dream up this bullsh!t

What does that scripture have to with renaming fish?

CPAguy, that would be a great argument if everyone were recovering from wounds or on chemo.

Besides, those passages you quote have fueled the religiously insane notion that the Earth is ours to do with as we please. That's exactly the wrong kind of attitude that we need going forward, or we're going to collapse the food chains that we sit at the top of and come crashing down like everything else.



We are not all that special.

Please, there's enough to ridicule in this thread without bringing in scripture. If we need a reason to stone someone to death or start a holy war, we'll let you know.

Genesis Chapter 1 verse 26. Then God said, "Let us make manin Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creepin thing that creeps on the earth."

Chapter 1:28. then God blessed them, and God said to them,"Be fruitful and multiply; fill all the earth and subdue it: have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over living thing that moves on the earth."

PETA doesn't think sometimes. It's obvious by their new campaign to rename fish.



Maybe we should rename the color "red" something new, too.

I don't know if you ladies will care for this but the best way to answer the door for the JW's is naked tied to a chair and ask them to come on in I tell them my girlfriend is in one of her moods again!

Super nutritious and delicious. Land Fish are a food group all of their own!!

That's why he's changing up his diet from the high in fiber JWs to the world famous, totally tasty and good for you Land Fish!!

Just wait until you have one of those Land Fish on your plate.......yummy!!

in fact I once ate a Jehovah Witness' muffin that was furry, but I wouldn’t take their book...

I think PETA is a good organization for what they try. But they go way overboard with everything. I agree that animals have rights, but they have done way to many crazy things it is insane

I once ate a Jehovah Witness, but I wouldn’t take their book...

Me either.

I don't care how furry and wiskerly a Jehova's Whitness is, I am not going to eat one.

Well, I'm sure some Jehovah's are furry and whiskery, but they are no where near as adorable and fun to be around as kittens or land fish or whatever it is we're calling those cute, little things.



Wait. Are we still talking about bunnies?!



I'm confused and want a muffin.

Like the Jehovah's? If we're going on the basis that Land Fish are kittens, then Land Sharks would have to be mountain lions.



Jehovah's would just be crazy.

OMG. I swear, you and I must be long lost sisters because I, too, am terrified of sharks.



Land sharks would most likely be mountain lions.

Stephen Colbert said he was going to start calling kittens "land fish". I say let's embrace that term!! LOL

I think I'm now bunny-obsessed.



What the hell does this have to do with Sea Kittens?!!

lol I didn't know they had a website. They are on "On Demand" with my cable provider. Pretty funny.

PETA and the bunnies are funny.



And I seriously love catfish. If PETA advocates are thinking about smearing catsup on my plate to signify my bloody, fish-eating nature, please use hotsauce instead. Thank you.

Okay, I just visited that site and I think I might be hooked. But I also thought he was talking about the Rayman bunny videos. OMG....those bunnies are kind of creepy but hilarious!!

What bunny videos are you talking about?

Never heard of em til now. Just watched a video of them on youtube lol.



Reminds me of the bunny cartoons where they re-enact movies in like 2 minutes or something. Those are funny too.

You are SOOOO freakin' awesome!!

I LOVVVVVVVVE The Bunny Suicides!!



I had the 2007 calendar!!