Saturday, January 17, 2009

PETA: Now Even MORE Misguided

15 years ago, the Patagonia Toothfish was, to say the least, not much of a hot seller. Then, some ingenious marketers thought of renaming the fish with a name that would be more tempting to diners, and the Chilean Sea Bass was born, becoming so successful, the sales of it have to be now restricted to ensure we don't fish the species out of existence. A great example of marketing in the world of seafood, one that brought great prosperity and expanded palates.

Today, we have an absolutely opposite inanity, courtesy of the lunatics at the oh so benignly named People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA. They have announced a PR campaign to rebrand fish as...sea kittens. Yes, these crazy folks, who would rather let humans die of starvation, malnutrition, and agony, believe that the latest "animals" to need their protection are fish. This is misguided in so many ways, it dazzles the mind.

These zealots are masters of the language war, having executed successful campaigns on fur, supermarkets...the list goes on. Their name is the real master stroke: their agenda is not to more humanely treat animals, but to prevent them from any human contact at all. But in this latest effort, they have erred: they have clearly seen the success of rebranding in the seafood world, and are trying to capitalize on it, but they have missed the point: it was only a success because commercial enterprises embraced it for their own self-interests. Who in their right mind is going to willingly label their product as "sea kittens?"

The insanity is clearly pervasive throughout these people who have clearly been so hurt by humanity to such a degree that they would rather transfer their compassion to a more accepting group. Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of animals, but I do see the love they inspire, but stacked against the heart-rending knowledge of children in a 3rd world country who will starve without needed food, or go malnourished...or even knowing that their asinine efforts in the US cause basics foods like eggs to skyrocket in price, impacting the poorest of our nation...well, I don't think it's even close.

These people are ill. 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." Ashley, I have to ask: what actual institution that professes to educate children would ever use your bizarre talking points? And if neither they, nor the companies that produce these nutritional necessities for children, are considering anything to do with you, why in the world do you think this makes sense?

Look, PETA: if you want to take on folks who abuse puppies, or the disaster of not spaying cats so that they are forced to die from starvation, I'm actaully right there with you. But leave the human foodstuffs alone: we are an omnivorous species, and you have the right to be a vegetarian; I have the right to eat my fish. Now excuse me, I have a special Sea Kitten Roll waiting for me at the sushi bar.

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