Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Would You Like Chips with that Sea Kitten?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are now suggesting that we continue to catch and eat fish because the name itself creates a comfortable but artificial distance between humans and...well, fish. Therefore, PETA is now campaigning (I'm not making this up) to replace the word "fish" with "sea kittens."

Stuart Derbyshire, a psychology professor at the University of Birmingham, writes in spiked! that this might set a curious precedent. "If the idea catches on, we might soon be referring to pigs as ‘pink land clouds’, trees might become ‘land coral’, and so on. It could get awfully confusing – imagine arriving in the rainforest wearing scuba gear."

He also opines, "PETA’s fact sheet is a mix of scientific evidence, some reasonable interpretation and a not-inconsiderable amount of lunacy. But it is not always clear where interpretation stops and lunacy begins."