So: PETA has asked the principal of Spearfish High School to change the school’s name to Sea Kitten High.
“Well obviously!” you say. “Every high school in the nation wishes for a mascot as enviably ferocious as a kitten!”
Apparently the name “Spearfish” is a little too violent for the animal rights group. I’d never be able to summarize better than the letter states itself, so here’s the whole thing:
Steve Morford, Principal
Spearfish High School
Dear Principal Morford
I’m writing to you on behalf of PETA, the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 2 million members and supporters. In early October, PETA launched its Sea Kitten campaign, which suggests a name-change for fish as a way to promote empathy for them and other marine animals. Today, we’re proposing that Spearfish High School adopt a new name to reflect the gentle nature of its current marine namesake.
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. In fact, neurobiologists tell us that fish have complex nervous systems that comprehend and respond to pain. Fish communicate and develop relationships with one another, show affection by gently rubbing against other fish, and even grieve when their companions die. However, when they are dragged from the ocean’s depths, sea kittens undergo excruciating decompression, often causing their eyes to pop out and pushing their stomachs out through their mouths. When they are tossed onto ships’ decks, many sea kittens slowly suffocate or are crushed to death. This is no way to treat a “kitten.”
Most parents would never dream of spending a family weekend torturing kittens, but hooking fish through their mouths and pulling them through the water is just as painful as hooking a cat’s mouth and dragging him or her behind a car. We’re hoping that this name change will encourage people young and old to start treating these gentle “kittens of the sea” with respect–and show them the kindness that they deserve.
We hope that Spearfish High School will start off the semester right by changing its name to Sea Kitten High School. Thank you for your time.
Also, check out what the Black Hills Travel blog has to say on the questions. The links they have posted in their article are pretty funny.
It sounds to me as if PETA would like to do a Find/Replace on the word “fish” where it is used in every possible context. Unfortunately, that would leave us with the city of Spear Sea Kittens, which doesn’t have quite the same effect as just plain old “Sea Kitten.”
My buddy Mat has been wandering around the office all day muttering about “sea kitten sticks” and meowing while trying to look fishy. Apparently, he finds the whole thing even more ludicrous than the rest of us, though I think it was rather inevitable myself. As soon as the tuna people starting calling their fish Sea Chickens, it was bound to start a slow tumble into madness.
And finally, the whole quote from the title, courtesy of coworker Chris:
If sea kittens taste like pumpkin pie, yes, I’m eating sea kittens.
Post Script: For something that’s way too funny to believe, check out PETA’s Sea Kitten page, and make your own Sea Kitten. Here’s mine.