Fishing enthusiasts beware. No longer will you find salmon, trout, catfish, or your other favorite scaly friend at the end of your line. If People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have their way, you'll be reeling in a sea kitten. What's a sea kitten, you ask? It's PETA's new name for fish. That's right, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would like you start calling fish "sea kittens." Why? "We're hoping that by calling fish ‘sea kittens,' compassionate people who would never hurt a dog or a cat will realize that fish feel pain and fear just like furry and winged animals do," explained the group in a letter to the principal of Whitefish High School in Montana, Ken Paulson. But it gets better. The letter was intended to convince Paulson that Whitefish High should change its name to Sea Kitten High. No, we did not make that up. (Gadfly's imagination has limits.) "Schools strive for achievements in academics and sports," explained PETA campaign coordinator Ashley Byrne, "so why not add compassion to the list?" Whitefish Superintendent Jerry House was intrigued; perhaps, he mused, last year's National Federation of Fly-Fishers conference held in Whitefish would transform into a conference for the National Federation of Sea Kittens. (Again, not kidding.) If only such attention were paid to student learning.
"PETA seeks to rename high school Sea Kitten," by Michael Jamison, The Missoulian, January 8, 2009