Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Who Else Is Going to Stand Up For the Dead Fish of America?

     Ah, PETA. Thank you for interrupting a fairly boring news day with your insistence that people stop cruelly throwing dead fish.

     People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Robert Zonies, president of the Terra Ceia (Florida) Village Improvement Association, urging him to cancel the annual “mullet toss” at this year’s Terra Ceia Mullet Smoke-Off, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. November 12.

     The annual event challenges contestants to try their hand at aiming and tossing dead mullets into a toilet, wheelbarrow or wash tub, positioned a challenging distance away at Seabreeze Park.

     According to PETA’s manager of corporate affairs in Los Angeles, Dave Byer, “It sends a terrible message to kids when adults are throwing the carcasses of animals. If you wouldn’t throw a dead puppy or kitten into a toilet, why throw a dead fish?”

     Indeed. As the friend who forwarded the article to me remarked, "I normally put a helmet on the fish I plan to toss." (She has a gift for sarcasm.)

     I know of no festivals in which dead puppies and kitties are thrown for fun, but I would find it more appropriate for PETA to focus their efforts there. A dwarf-tossing intervention would make more sense. Perhaps a new branch is warranted: PETAADAOTTGT (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals And Dwarfs And Other Things That Get Tossed).

     I get it—we should demonstrate kindness to all creatures. That is a noble thought. I am just wondering if the dead fish really care if the Terra Ceia residents have a bit of fun with their carcasses.

     In addition, PETA would much prefer that alfalfa spouts be substituted for the smoked mullet sold for consumption at the event. “It would be great if they served vegan,” Byer said. “But we are only asking them to stop playing with dead bodies.”

     Naturally, the Association was taken aback at receiving the official letter urging discontinuation of the barbaric hurling of inanimate sea creatures. The Mullet Toss is a fundraiser, supplying money for maintenance of the park as well as teacher supplies for local schools.

     Maybe the teachers could simply include notes with each pack of crayons saying, "Don't throw dead fish. It's cruel."

Love from Delta.