Whitefish High School officials received a letter yesterday from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals suggesting they change the school’s name to “Sea Kitten High School,” as a way to encourage others to refer to fish and other marine animals as sea kittens and increase compassion for the animals.
“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,” Dan Shannon, PETA’s assistant director, wrote in a letter to the school.
In fact, Shannon wrote that neurobiologists say fish communicate and develop relationships with one another, show affection by rubbing against other fish and have complex nervous systems that comprehend and respond to pain.
“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,” Shannon wrote. “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 they deserve.”
The request is part of PETA’s “Save the Sea Kittens” campaign, an admittedly tongue-in-cheek effort to promote compassion for the fish species.
According to this Missoulian article, the school is considering the request – apparently with their own tongue-in-cheek approach.
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