Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tomorrow's lunch special is … 'sea kitten' sticks?

My kids, 5 and 7 years old, have been raised to respect nature. They love the outdoors and look forward to our regular camping and fishing trips.

We have a yellow Labrador retriever named Sara that thinks she's human. She smells, sleeps on the couch and eats off the kitchen counter but cries like a baby if we lock her outside.

I look forward now and then to a nice fat steak and have even killed a few mammals and birds, but only for food, never for sport.

I don't like trophy hunting or fishing and think those fellows who beat baby seals with billy clubs should be stripped naked and put adrift on an ice flow.

When it comes to political issues, I consider myself a moderate, and believe to each his own, except when it comes to grown men wearing T-backs on public beaches.

I don't get riled up about much; life is too short. But a recent news release from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has prompted me to take a stand.

But first, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must confess that I have some history with this particular animal rights organization.

In March 2001, when PETA petitioned the Boy Scouts of America to drop its fishing merit badge, I wrote a column entitled "Confessions of a Killing Machine" that became the lead item on the organization's Web site.

As a result, I received dozens of angry e-mails from people across the United States who wanted to do things to me they would never dream of doing to some poor defenseless animal.

With that said, here we go again:

Last month, PETA sent out another news release to announce yet another campaign aimed at fishing.

"If fish were renamed 'sea kittens,' would humans be less likely to hurt them?" the news release asks. "PETA thinks so, which is why the group has just launched its national 'Save the Sea Kittens' campaign."

No. Seriously folks … I am not making this up.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has more than 2-million members and supporters, making it the largest animal rights organization in the world. The organization does many admirable things, including fighting against factory farms, animal experimentation in laboratories and the animal abuse in the entertainment industry.

But apparently, PETA has too much money and/or too many people with too much time on their hands.

Now here is where it gets really scary:

Ashley Byrne, the PETA campaign coordinator, "will travel across the country to elementary schools that serve sea kittens for lunch to remind people that sea kittens are intelligent, sensitive animals who deserve respect …"

First of all, Ashley, an animal or fish should be referred to as "it," not "who." My crazy Labrador Sara has personality, and as Samuel L. Jackson said in Pulp Fiction, "personality goes a long way."

But the fact remains, Sara is a dog, and dogs like to sniff other dogs' you-know-whats.

Now, secondly, please be advised that it has taken me seven years to get my son to eat something other than chicken nuggets and French fries.

The boy actually likes fish sticks, but if you show up at his elementary school and tell him that he is really eating "sea kittens," he will be traumatized for life, and I'll have to send you straight to time out.

Byrne said the campaign has been to two schools in North Carolina, where she said it "got great feedback from both students and parents."

No offense, Ms. Byrne, while I do respect your Constitution-protected right to call fish "sea kittens," I, for one, will continue to address each species by its common name, i.e., snook, trout, redfish, etc.

My son, the fish stick eater, is free to make up his own mind. But be forewarned, he dreams about catching a redfish and cooking it over a campfire.

You and your friends might call him "sea kitten killer." My guess is he will just laugh and try to hook a snook.

To find out more about PETA's "sea kitten" campaign, go to www.peta.org.

Terry Tomalin can be reached at (727) 893-8808.

Tomorrow's lunch special is … 'sea kitten' sticks? 11/06/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 10, 2008 1:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays Tales: 10 smart decisions that helped the Rays get where they are

    The Heater

    The Rays this week will reach the midpoint of their season and, all things considered, it hasn't been half bad. To have logged 40 wins in 77 games without a pitch being thrown by two guys expected to play key bullpen roles in Brad Boxberger and Shawn Tolleson, without an at-bat by starting SS Matt …

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Orioles, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Orioles

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Jake Odorizzi #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  3. ABC Racing kennel advances three into semifinals

    Parimutuels

    ST. PETERSBURG — The maiden voyage by Don Burk into the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby series — his first as the ABC Racing kennel owner — went as easy as ABC.

  4. Bullpen melts down as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jacob Faria allowed his first two big-league home runs and was touched for a career-high three runs Saturday by the Orioles. Other than that, the rookie making his fourth major-league start did okay against the Baltimore bats.

    The bullpen, not so much.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Baltimore Orioles scored four runs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 24, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) SPD118
  5. Lightning shifts search for defense to free agency

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — As much as he tried, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman left the weekend's draft without acquiring another top-four defenseman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101