Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

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Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by DaMadFiddler » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:56 pm

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=99249669
NPR wrote:"Sea kittens" is the new term being used by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, for the creatures they believe are in dire need of an image makeover: fish.

"PETA thought that by renaming fish sea kittens, compassionate people who would never dream of hurting a dog or a cat might extend that sympathy to fish, or sea kittens," PETA campaign coordinator Ashley Byrne says.

Byrne says that rebranding fish as sea kittens was obvious.

"Fish not only have the same ability to feel pain as a dog or a cat, but they also communicate with one another," she says. "They have complex social interactions; they form bonds; they express affection by gently rubbing against one another."

The PETA campaign boasts a colorful, interactive Web site aimed at children and their parents. It offers sea kitten bedtime stories and a design-your-own sea kitten in hopes it will build compassion in families.

"Most parents would never dream of spending a weekend torturing kittens for fun with their families, but hooking a sea kitten through the mouth and dragging her through the water is the same as hooking a kitten through the mouth and dragging her behind your car," Byrne says.

Alaskan Resistance

PETA has so far only promoted the campaign in North Carolina but plans to take it nationwide, even to Alaska — a state where fishing is both a source of recreation and many families' livelihoods.

In the small fishing town of Unalaska, population just under 4,000, some people see the campaign differently.

"I don't see fish as sea kittens; I see them as food," says 12-year-old Chastity Haskins.

"It just doesn't look right," Harmony says. Harmony, the fourth generation of a commercial fishing family, looks at the cartoon fish and reads through the information on the site. "They say that they're intelligent, but they're not really," Harmony says. "They have tiny, tiny little brains. Very miniature."

The girls also take issue with the claims that sea kittens are unhealthy to eat.

"They only talk about farm fish — it's not wild Alaskan, which is very good for you," Harmony says.

Sea-Kitten-Friendly Environments

"I don't understand how it makes sense," says fisheries observer Mary Powers, who works on fishing boats to collect data on the catches. She thinks the campaign, which encourages people to petition the Fish and Wildlife Service to stop the hunting of sea kittens, is misguided. "It seems like it's discouraging Americans to buy our product, which I think is unpatriotic."

But Byrne says that even if people lose jobs in the fishing industry through the success of the campaign, they could find work in more sea-kitten-friendly environments.

"So as there is less of a demand for foods like fish, there is more of a demand for other foods, and jobs open up in those industries," Byrne says.

National Marine Fisheries Service management biologist Brian Dixon doesn't see the change coming anytime soon.

"Well, it may raise some money for PETA, but I don't think it'll change the way we manage the fisheries," Dixon says. "I think I may eat some sea kittens tonight."
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by DaMadFiddler » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:57 pm

And, if you want to see the insanity in its native habitat:

http://www.peta.org/sea_kittens/
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Ex-Cyber » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:12 am

I like how they have no actual pictures of the ugly bastards, just cute little cartoons.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Christuserloeser » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:59 am

Well, underneath the kitty litter box there's a site with at least some serious info: http://www.fishinghurts.com/
Do you still eat tuna because you think it’s good for you? In fact, the latest scientific research shows that eating tuna is hazardous to your health. Here are the top 10 reasons to let tuna off the hook.

Brain Rot!
Tuna fish accumulate toxic mercury in their flesh as a result of industrial pollution, and the side effects of mercury poisoning include finger curling, cognitive impairment, and coordination problems. A California boy, who was the subject of a front-page Wall Street Journal article, went from being a star athlete and honor student to being unable to concentrate or catch a football because he ate canned tuna. Even if he had eaten only half a can of albacore tuna a week, he still would have consumed 60 percent more mercury than is considered “safe” by the U.S. government.

Tremendous Tuna
The largest tuna are bluefin tuna, who can reach 15 feet in length and weigh more than 1,500 pounds. Even “small” tuna species, such as yellowfin and albacore, can grow to be 6.5 feet long and weigh hundreds of pounds. Tuna aren’t exactly couch potatoes—they can swim more than 100 miles in a day—with a top speed of 40 miles per hour.

Heart Attack on a Hook
Eating fish is not healthy for your heart! Heavy metals are concentrated in tuna because of the contaminated fish they eat. Tuna flesh is loaded with heavy metals that attack the heart muscle, so the toxicity outweighs any possible health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. According to a recent study published in the American Heart Association’s journal, men with the highest levels of mercury increased their risk for heart disease by 60 percent and their risk of dying of a heart attack by 70 percent. Do your heart a favor—put down the fish fork and pick up a safer source of omega-3s, such as walnuts and flaxseeds.

Would You Eat Your Dog?
How about a fish who’s as smart as a dog? Dr. Theresa Burt de Perera, an Oxford University scientist, recently published research showing that fish learn faster than dogs. And University of Edinburgh biologist Culum Brown says, “In many areas, such as memory, their cognitive powers match or exceed those of ‘higher’ vertebrates, including non-human primates.”

Sorry, Charlie
Unlike a certain cartoon tuna, fish aren’t begging to be caught. Tuna are chased until they move into a tight group, and then a net is lowered around them. They are dragged against rocks and debris, and some fish suffocate from the sheer weight of other fish pressing against them. Large tuna are impaled on longlines—which are miles of barbed hooks that are left in the ocean for days at a time.

Death, Sopranos-Style
Think “swimming with the fishes” in reverse. “Hit men” dump smaller tuna onto ice, where they slowly freeze to death or are crushed when thousands of their schoolmates are piled on top of them. Tuna caught on longlines are beaten until they become unconscious before they are thrown into the freezer—and that’s if they haven’t already bled to death while struggling to free themselves!

Factory Fish Bowls
Because fishing trawlers are increasingly emptying the seas of more and more of their inhabitants, fish are now being raised on “farms.” Small tuna are captured and dumped into netted pens. They are fattened on pellets of concentrated fish flesh and killed when they get big enough—if they don’t die first from the parasites and diseases that thrive in extremely crowded conditions.

Sickening Sashimi
Stay away from the sushi buffet if you don’t want to spend the next day at the porcelain palace. Seafood is the number one cause of food poisoning in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 75 million cases of foodborne illness every year, including hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths.

Dolphin-Unsafe Tuna
Tuna is about as “dolphin-friendly” as a boat propeller. Even if dolphins aren’t “accidentally” trapped in tuna nets, they are still killed intentionally by Japanese tuna anglers because they prey on tuna. Entire pods of whales and dolphins are rounded up and driven into shallow water where all but the youngest (who are captured and sold to aquariums) are slaughtered with knives and machetes.

Tuna-Safe Tuna
Vegetarian tuna, available from http://www.vegieworld.com, is a double-take fake tuna that is perfect for sandwiches, casseroles, and “fish” cakes. It is packed with protein and has an uncanny “tuna” flavor and texture, but it’s free of mercury, harmful bacteria, and suffering. Vegetarian starter kit

If you’re “fishing” for a heart-smart diet that has been proved to actually reverse heart disease while also reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity and that is good for the environment as well as fish-friendly—a vegetarian diet is the perfect catch.

Order a free vegetarian starter kit and we’ll send you great-tasting recipes, nutrition information—and everything else you’ll need to make the easy switch to a healthy vegetarian diet.

Even if dolphins aren’t “accidentally” trapped in tuna nets, they are still killed intentionally by Japanese tuna anglers because they prey on tuna. Entire pods of whales and dolphins are rounded up and driven into shallow water where all but the youngest (who are captured and sold to aquariums) are slaughtered with knives and machetes.
I saw footage of this once, but it never made any sense to me. Why would they kill hundreds and thousands of dolphins and leave them rotting at the beach ? - They're eliminating the competition for their fishing grounds. Clever.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by hey911 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:57 am

Ever hear of the term "cold as a fish"? Regardless of the the cognitive abilities of certain types of fish, they have no emotional centers in their brains. Most of the fish we eat are "feeder" fish, which are predated on by other aquatic carnivores and the like. Like it or not we are a omnivorous species, and it is quite natural for us to be predatory when our diets require it.

Smart practices like portion size, consideration of children, and pregnant women can allow people to safely benefit from the health giving properties of eating fish.

Example - http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advice/
From the US Environmental Protection Agency:
By following these three recommendations for selecting and eating fish or shellfish, women and young children will receive the benefits of eating fish and shellfish and be confident that they have reduced their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury.

1. Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.
2. Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.
* Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
* Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.
3. Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.

Follow these same recommendations when feeding fish and shellfish to your young child, but serve smaller portions.
And the American Heart Association: AHA

On the other hand I think that people have been overfishing. This has caused a great deal of stress on certain aquatic ecosystems, spurring rapid evolution, in certain over-fished fish populations (including sharks) the average adult size has dramatically decreased in the last few years. This is having a profound impact on ocean ecosystems that we don't even fully understand as of yet.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Lartrak » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:48 am

It's pretty inarguable the ocean is being overfished. It's getting harder and harder to get certain fish, and gradually we're eating fish more and more that we didn't use to.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Christuserloeser » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:53 pm

hey911 wrote:Ever hear of the term "cold as a fish"? Regardless of the the cognitive abilities of certain types of fish, they have no emotional centers in their brains.
says professor hey911 after extensive studies on the subject. "They got no feelings, eat them", he adds.

hey911 wrote:Like it or not we are a omnivorous species, and it is quite natural for us to be predatory when our diets require it.
Quite natural. I am sure our ancestors were GREAT hunters: smaller mammals were too fast, bigger mammals too big and too strong to kill without weapons. Their skin too thick to cut through without tools, their meat extremely poisonous without being cooked, which not only required quite a set of tools but also the ability to produce fire.


Were our ancestors more like a baboon (carnivore) or more like a gorilla (vegetarian) ?

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Very tough question, I know. Just take your time.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Lartrak » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:42 pm

Were our ancestors more like a baboon (carnivore) or more like a gorilla (vegetarian) ?
Or the chimpanzee:

Image

Which is an omnivore.

In any case, there really isn't any specific diet for humans. We can handle meat acceptably, but not greatly, our digestive system is more similar to an herbivore but we can't break down cellulose... We have a great deal of difficulty getting Vitamin B12 if we don't eat *some* form of animal products. The earliest modern humans are thought to have eaten a heavily meat based diet (usually ranging from somewhat less than half to somewhat over half, from what I've read), but that varies a lot based on region and available food sources.

What does all this mean? I don't know for sure, but I think an omnivorous diet is probably accurate as far as a basic, original diet for humans goes. But, our tool usage and versatility resulted in us being much less physically adapted to any diet. Though we can certainly be healthy on a vegetarian diet, and even a vegan diet (though I'd say that is considerably more difficult), so is that really relevant?
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Specially Cork » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:10 pm

Meat is delicious. That's the only argument there is for me.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by hey911 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:37 am

Sorry, I just dislike people trying to be swayed by Argumentum ad misericordiam - an appeal to pity.

I fully understand why someone might want to live a vegan, or vegetarian lifestyle, the evidence says it can add an extra ten years to your life.

I rather not get into a long debate about our relatedness to certain great apes, which we had supposedly diverged from in a branching like process. So if you think that evolutional theory is true, we didn't "evolve" from any of the existing apes, both they and us diverged from common ancestor. Studying the most related great ape species, theChimpanzee or the Bonobo "might" reveal some insights into human ancestry, but that needs to be looked at with a critical attitude.

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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Lartrak » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:37 am

I rather not get into a long debate about our relatedness to certain great apes, which we had supposedly diverged from in a branching like process. So if you think that evolutional theory is true, we didn't "evolve" from any of the existing apes, both they and us diverged from common ancestor.
Yeah, I don't think anyone here suggested otherwise.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by hey911 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:13 am

Lartrak wrote:Yeah, I don't think anyone here suggested otherwise.
Sorry, my mistake. I'm not quite sure what Chris was driving at then.

What I did mean is that PETA is basing their argument on a logical fallacy, so instead of finding a legitimate reason to sway peoples opinions, they instead try to associate these aquatic animals with "cute", "cuddly", kittens.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Ex-Cyber » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:34 am

PETA does sort of have a point inasmuch as our notions of food vs. companion animals are based more on utility than on any kind of principled morality. If pigs were easier to train and dogs were easier to fatten up on corn, our general regard for them could very well be reversed.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by DaMadFiddler » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:40 am

hey911 wrote:
Lartrak wrote:Yeah, I don't think anyone here suggested otherwise.
Sorry, my mistake. I'm not quite sure what Chris was driving at then.

What I did mean is that PETA is basing their argument on a logical fallacy, so instead of finding a legitimate reason to sway peoples opinions, they instead try to associate these aquatic animals with "cute", "cuddly", kittens.
[nods] My girlfriend's father worked for the San Diego Wild Animal Park for a long time, and as a result has been involved in a number of conservation efforts. We showed this to him, and his response was pretty much the world-weary groan we were expecting. It's even more frustrating to him because the fishing concerns cited in this campaign actually are a very serious problem, and PETA is just making a big mess of the whole thing with this nonsensical "sea kittens" campaign.

I've been a vegetarian for practically my entire adult life, and I have absolutely no qualms with calling PETA a bunch of bloody morons. Honestly, the one thing worse than a dedicated opponent is having an idiot on your side.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Jeeba Jabba » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:10 pm

Hahahahaha.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Specially Cork » Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:52 pm

Ex-Cyber wrote:PETA does sort of have a point inasmuch as our notions of food vs. companion animals are based more on utility than on any kind of principled morality. If pigs were easier to train and dogs were easier to fatten up on corn, our general regard for them could very well be reversed.
I've eaten dog and our family had a pet pig for a while. Where does that leave me?
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Lartrak » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:50 am

BoneyCork wrote:
Ex-Cyber wrote:PETA does sort of have a point inasmuch as our notions of food vs. companion animals are based more on utility than on any kind of principled morality. If pigs were easier to train and dogs were easier to fatten up on corn, our general regard for them could very well be reversed.
I've eaten dog and our family had a pet pig for a while. Where does that leave me?
In China? :grin:
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by |darc| » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Ex-Cyber wrote:PETA does sort of have a point
PETA makes a lot of good points. Animal rights are something too often overlooked.

But they're also crazy fucking morons as well.
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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by DaMadFiddler » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:56 pm

From the "Bedtime Stories":

(note: these all start off happy and smiley like any children's book, then show something horrible happening, then have an ending like this)

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Re: Those Aren't Fish; They're Sea Kittens!

Post by Specially Cork » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:01 pm

DaMadFiddler wrote:From the "Bedtime Stories":

(note: these all start off happy and smiley like any children's book, then show something horrible happening, then have an ending like this)

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No she doesn't, because fish are stupider than cats. And even if they weren't, they still can't use a flip chart.
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