Whilst glancing at my angling club website the other day, a Google ad appeared at the top of the page. These ads are unavoidable and latch onto the theme of the website i.e. fishing. However, it caught my eye and I clicked onto it.
‘Save the Sea Kitten’ (what!), further reading states that ‘Nobody would hurt a Sea Kitten’ (of course not!): ‘Why not create your own Sea Kitten’ (this kept my daughter amused for five minutes, dressing up a computerised Sea Kitten in clothes and hats and lipstick and so on – and she’s 33 years of age). The next click suggests a bedside story to send your child off to a trouble free night’s sleep (at least two bottles of wine seems a better remedy for the aforesaid daughter).
The illustrated story goes something like this:
‘Sally is a Sea Kitten with an attitude (funky teenagers!); while all the other Sea Kittens are washing themselves or chasing balls of yarn, Sally is busy swimming upstream to see where life will take her next (a responsible teenager looking for a job!). Unfortunately, years of watching her friends and family being hooked through the mouth (WHAT!) and dragged into the hard alien world above, have driven her mad with grief (any wine left daughter, I think I’m going to have nightmares?). Bitter and insane (well she is a teenager!), she spends her days plotting revenge against Land Kittens (I think a visit to a psychiatrist might be in order) who live such happy lives in comfortable homes, free from the terror of being eaten.’
I am now thinking I need a drink (any excuse). What the hell is this all about?! Further investigation into what a Sea Kitten is, reveals:
‘People don't seem to like fish (I do!). They're slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads—which is weird, to say the least (not to other fish it’s not). Plus, the small ones nibble at your feet when you're swimming, and the big ones—well, the big ones will bite your face off if Jaws is anything to go by (open another bottle of wine so I don’t have nightmares again). Of course, if you look at it another way, what all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy (OK I can live with that: Mr. Yates you are out of a job). Whoever was in charge of creating a positive image for fish needs to go right back to working on the Britney Spears account (not a good idea) and leave our scaly little friends alone. You've done enough damage, buddy. We've got it from here. And we're going to start by retiring the old name for good (I think they are going to tell me what a Sea Kitten is now, and I’m not going to like it). When your name can also be used as a verb that means driving a hook through your head (Sorry?), it's time for a serious image makeover. And who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?’
Got it … this is an advert put out by PETA, which I believe is an American based organization which wants angling banned. They suggest that: ’Sea kittens are just as intelligent, not to mention adorable, (sounds like past girl friends) and like dogs (defo) and cats, they feel pain as all animals do’ (OK I have had to deal with rejection as well).
As a reasonable adult, I have feelings not to hurt any animals unnecessary, however, it has been proven that if an animal feels pain then they can be governed by that fact; if a bull has a ring fastened to its nose then it can be led, because if it resisted then that would bring pain. A fish, when it is hooked, fights against the resistance of being fettled (a bit like being engaged to be married), not through pain but possibly because of a natural reaction of survival. Another factor in the chain of life is that most fish eat others of their own younger relations, therefore, surely they kill/eat as much as as humans would? Under these circumstances I can live with my sport.
I am a realistic type of person who likes to listen to all sides of the story, and then make my own mind up. What I find slightly uncomfortable with, is that if this website (PETA) was ‘Sea Kittens against…’ religion, for example, it could possibly be classed as an extremist site. In my opinion, it is grooming very young people into an adverse and negative attitude into our sport through deception. A fish is a fish, and not a Sea Kitten. The frightening thought is that if you sign their petition against the sport then something might be done against it. Another frightening fact is that 14190 people already have!