Friday, September 25, 2009

Naked fish protest. Hide your children. There's chaos in the streets.

Photos: Logan Fazio

Put on your riot gear, protests are spreading across Florida. PETA has been staging topless demonstrations leading up to Saturday's big event - National Fish Empathy Day.

The group, which is protesting the killing of fish for food or sport, staged a protest in Miami on Thursday. The next topless protest takes place in West Palm Beach at noon today. Said a canned PETA press release:
Wearing little more than fish tails and shimmery body paint, five topless PETA members will lie "dead" on the ground in the heart of West Palm Beach's shopping and dining district on Friday to protest against the cruelty of killing fish for food or sport. Other PETA members will hold signs that read, "Fishing Hurts" and "Gutted Alive," to let residents know that fish are intelligent, sensitive animals who experience stress and pain when they are cruelly hooked or hauled up from the deep in commercial nets.
Well, I know some of this PETA stuff seems a little nutty. But I have a confession: I once went into a Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant to order fish. Dozens of tilapia were swimming around in a big tank. So I picked out a beautiful fish.
The waiter asked, "Do you want that grilled or pan fried?"
"I'd like it in a plastic bag. Alive. I'm taking it home," I told him.
He looked at me like I was crazy and then - knowing that a sale is a sale - plopped the fish into a bag of water. I took the fish home, put it in a big tank and called her Miss Saigon.
Of course, it could have been a him, not a her. Who knows? But I like to watch fish in an aquarium. It's more relaxing than staring at another dumb program on TV.

Naked fish. PETA has staged protests in several cities, including Seattle. Source of photos: The Peta Files

I'm not a card-carrying member of PETA, but I do love animals. And PETA activists are convinced that fish feel pain. Said the group's press release:
Scientific studies confirm that fish are sensitive individuals who feel pain, just as dogs and cats do. A recent issue of Fish and Fisheries cited more than 500 research papers on fish intelligence proving that fish are smart, can use tools, and have impressive long-term memories and sophisticated social structures.
Could that be true? PETA honchos insist it is. Said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman:
Although not as familiar to us as dogs and cats, fish are just as deserving of kindness as are the animals with whom we share our homes. Causing these gentle animals of the sea to suffocate to death or die slowly from infections caused by hooks is animal abuse, plain and simple.
Miami Times slideshow of PETA's "naked fish"

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