Posts Tagged ‘Sea Kittens’



PETA has jumped the shark. Read about it here.

Now, it is true that fish stocks are low.  One third of all fish stocks are below ten percent of their original abundance. If you want to read a good book on this, I highly suggest Farley Mowat’s Sea of Slaughter. However, just because fish numbers are low does not automatically follow that fishing is cruel and is part of the problem.

Indeed, fishing could be part of the solution. No fishing society wants to see the collapse of fish stocks like the one that happened in Newfoundland. Fishing provided income for people who followed the rules about keeping stocks in line. But then big commercial trawling came along, and the fish stocks plummeted. But the small fisherman could have been part of a self-sustaining fishery. The common fishery is thus regulated because it is beneficial.

Some of the best memories I’ve ever had as child were fishing trout streams with my grandfather. The trout stocks in my home state are now in peril, because the state has giving wide concessions to mining interests to introduce all sorts of nasty things to the water. Acid mine drainage is a very bad thing for trout. The trout fishermen have fought these concessions to industry, although unsuccessfully. It is the fishermen who wanted clean water and better habitat for all organisms in the water.

What is PETA doing about clean water and better habitat for fishes? Very little, but what it is doing is alienating people.

How can an organization that alienates so many people ever have this much power?

This sea kittens campaign is the one of the strangest PETA campaigns I’ve ever heard of. However, they did run campaigns claiming that beer was healthier than milk, that meat represented a “holocaust on your plate,” and, recently, that the Australian practice of cutting away loose skin from merinos’ backsides to prevent flyblows is cruel. (Being flyblown is a lot more painful that the practice PETA is complaining about.).

But with the sea kittens campaign, I think we can safely say that PETA has jumped the shark.

Why do I not like PETA? I believe in a kind of animal entitlement scheme. I won’t call it animal rights, because I don’t think we respect human rights to the extent that we should, even in countries with constitutions. When we get serious about human rights, then I might be a little interested in animal rights. If we could instead talk about reforming the things that really are nasty to animals, then we’d have greater successes. But throwing in this concept of rights is a very nebulous idea. And we don’t need any new nebulous concepts floating around in the political atmosphere.

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