PETA, PETA, Kitten Eater

I was strolling through the neighborhood, breaking sparrows’ necks with my bare hands and kicking squirrels into oncoming traffic, when I thought: What’s PETA been up to lately?

You have to be careful when you ask that kind of question. PETA (People for the Ethical Tasting of Animals) is always up to some shenanigan or other, and its members, like all attention whores, thrive on publicity. (They also thrive on the blood of eagles, which they drink daily for its rejuvenating properties.) Like an annoying neighbor or a case of herpes, the best way to deal with PETA is usually to ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist.

But sometimes it’s hard to resist. For example, PETA recently launched a campaign to have fish renamed “sea kittens,” on the premise that if fish seemed cuter, people wouldn’t eat them. You would never eat a land kitten, after all! (Unless you live in one of the several countries where people eat cats all the time.) PETA reasons that surely the only thing standing between fish and total happiness is good P.R., hence the attempt at rebranding.

Like 100 percent of PETA’s other campaigns, this one is obviously stupid. Even if they succeeded in getting people to think of fish as “sea kittens,” it wouldn’t make any difference as long as fish continued to be delicious. I’m not personally a big fan of seafood, but I do love fish sticks, and I would eat them even if the box were erroneously labeled “Van De Kamp’s Deep-Fried Pieces of Your Mom.” (“Pass me the Mom sticks,” I’d say. “These are tasty!”) As long as I knew they actually came from fish and not my mom, I wouldn’t care what they were called. In fact, I’ll take it a step further: If actual deep-fried pieces of my mom tasted like fish sticks, I would eat them. I’m sorry, Mom, but it’s true.

The PETA columns:

9/7/2001: I PETA the Fool
5/24/2002: PETA’s Dragon
9/8/2002: Milking It
5/25/2003: Pet Peeves
8/25/2008: That’s So PETArded
2/16/2009: PETA, PETA, Kitten Eater
3/7/2011: Rooster’s Millions
8/1/2011: For PETA’s Sake
10/16/2012: PETA vs. Pokemon

PETA has a website set up to help you brainwash yourself into thinking of fish as sea kittens, just in case you have the inclination to systematically fill your head with lies and your cable system doesn’t carry Fox News. PETA insists, “Sea kittens are just as intelligent (not to mention adorable) as dogs and cats,” which is patently false. No one finds fish adorable. Only mammals are adorable. The best a fish can hope for is savory. And intelligent? If fish are so smart, how come they keep getting eaten? Huh? HUH?? YEAH, THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT. I guess PETA hopes that if they keep repeating things that are obviously untrue, people will eventually start to believe them. I don’t want to compare PETA to Hitler in that regard, but I have noticed that PETA is heavily in favor of the extermination of the Jews.

And hey, speaking of that, sort of, another thing PETA did recently was to send some of its goons to Manhattan to protest the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show by dressing in Ku Klux Klan costumes. Now, if the connection between a dog show and the KKK is not readily apparent to you, then I guess you support the wanton slaughter of animals. Nice going, animal-killer. The connection is that the Westminster Kennel Club and the KKK both foster the creation of pure bloodlines. The dog show wants purebred canines; the KKK wants purebred white people.

Why this is a problem, I don’t know. (I mean purebred dogs. I know what the problem is with racism.) It has something to do with people breeding dogs to look a certain way, even if it results in health problems for the dogs. Like maybe you adore dogs with cute little snouts, and so you breed them in such a way that after a few generations their snouts are so tiny they can’t even breathe. And then they only live a few days before they asphyxiate and die, but they’re super-precious during that time. Seriously, just the cutest little blue-faced puppies you’ve ever seen, gasping for breath and whimpering as they stumble blindly around the house. Awww!

And in the meantime, perfectly good mutts get overlooked at animal shelters because all anybody wants is a dog with a pedigree. It’s totally unfair. It’s not the mutt’s fault its parents were of dubious heritage, any more than it’s my fault that my father’s parents were hillbillies and my mother was made into fish sticks.

I can see where PETA is coming from on protesting the dog show, since dog shows are boring and the people who participate in them are insane. PETA went too far, of course, as is usually the case with them. I do find the whole thing interesting, though, because it’s not often that you see PETA and the KKK mentioned in the same news story. They don’t have much in common. One group is known for its propaganda, hypocrisy, stubborn narrow-mindedness, terrorist acts, and organized efforts to convert America to its radical ideology; and the other burns crosses on people’s lawns. I really shouldn’t pay so much attention to them. Honestly, making fun of PETA is like shooting sea kittens in a barrel.


[ I just wrote about PETA less than six months ago and was reluctant to visit the topic again so soon. But I got several e-mails from people alerting me to the sea kitten thing, and then there was the KKK thing, and, well, what could I do? I’m only human. ]