The Adorable Sea Kittens

By Beacon Staff

So the animal-rights cranks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are sending letters to schools with “fish” in their names, asking for a change to “Sea Kitten.”

Whitefish isn’t the only town that got a letter from PETA. Spearfish, South Dakota got one, too, from PETA’s “youth outreach” flack. Spearfish principal Steve Morford told the Rapid City Journal that PETA’s letter was “nothing we’re taking seriously.”

Whitefish School Superintendent Jerry House apparently didn’t either, writing back a letter asking: “White Kitten High School, the White Kitten City Council, the White Kitten Fire Department – it has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?” and alluding to being “arrested by the White Kitten Police Department, and taken to the White Kitten Jail, where you’ll be treated with soft, furry paws and a purr of compassion.”

A big joke, right?

Well, you know me, I had to just go poke around on PETA’s “Sea Kitten” Web site, with its cute little cartoons of smiling, blue-eyed fish. The “best” was that of a happy little girl snuggling a smiling piscine partner as big as she is. No slime, of course, and no indicator that a real fish would be in the throes of oxygen deprivation.

Did you know “sea kittens are just as intelligent (not to mention adorable) as dogs and cats [?]” Wow! I even created my very own Sea Kitten, picking a “trout” and dressing “her” with lipstick, a “cat hoodie” and a princess dress. There’s a litter box and water bowl … both probably a bit superfluous. I named her Fang. Adorable!

But PETA’s really not all that cutesy-wootsy. For starters, Mr. House’s obvious sarcasm is being pumped on PETA’s blogs as straight, with PETA calling House “our new favorite superintendent.”

Then there is the point and click letter to outgoing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director H. Dale Hall to stop “sea kitten hunting:” “I urge you to instead advocate nonviolent pastimes, such as bird-watching, canoeing, or hiking.” Amazingly, 3,066 have hit the “send” button on the letter.

And what about the “nonviolent” angle? Well, as the Sea Kitten page says, “You can learn a lot about a culture from its bedtime stories.” So let’s check out the Sea Kitten Bedtime Storybook:

Tara the Tuna: “But the conditions on the Sea Kitten factory farm where she lives are too cramped even for Tara. With no room to swim and no chance for escape, Tara looks forward to the end.”

Tony the Trout, a “double major in neuroscience and environmental studies” gets caught and is fed to a child who, “having eaten one mercury-filled sea kitten too many, falls to the bottom of his class.”

For Fred the Flounder, “overfishing has left him morose and alone,” endlessly “chasing his tail, thinking of a happier time.”

Sally’s friends hang about “washing themselves or chasing balls of yarn” while she’s the thoughtful one. “Bitter and insane, she spends her days plotting revenge against the Land Kittens.”

Man, now THERE’s a way to ensure well-adjusted, “ethical” offspring.

Is this just harmless rantery by some nut job with a blog? No. PETA has nice waterfront headquarters in Norfolk, Va., and a $15-million annual budget. Somebody wrote that bizarre junk, and someone had to approve it. Who? Probably Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s head case.

The Net has all sorts of groovy Ingridisms, none worth repeating here except for this peach: “I plan to send my liver somewhere in France, to protest foie gras (liver pate) … I plan to have handbags made from my skin … and an umbrella stand made from my seat.” Um, Ingrid, the Nazis already tried that.

America is a free country. PETA has every right to its views, to shamelessly and hypocritically promote its amazingly cruel and violent worldview with no irony, and we are all free to laugh at PETA.

We are also free to imagine what a wonderful world it would be with PETA in charge. PETA is not joking about that.