I’m beginning to believe that PETA has been taken over by saboteurs who are trying to destroy the organization by making it look unbelievably stupid:
“Hali-BUT! Hali-BUT! Heyyyyyy!” six men scream in unison. “Goin’ right home! Goin’ right home!” The counterman catches the hurtling fish neatly between the head and tail fin and slaps it onto a wrapping sheet.
The Pike Place Fish Market is the legendary home of the flying fish: Halibut as big as a wrestler’s thigh, spiky medallions of crab, the smooth, rainbow flesh of Chinook salmon, all become rapid-fire marine rockets in the hands of Seattle’s fishmongers — who are as famous for the speed of their fish as for its freshness.
But did anyone ever think of the fish?
Asserting that the practice of lobbing fish above the heads of patrons and tourists at the market and other venues is disrespectful to creatures that already have gone through a lot, an animal rights group is protesting plans to stage a flying-fish exhibition at an upcoming national veterinarians conference in Seattle.
Ultimately, they would like to see the practice banned at the fish market too. They argue that tourists would not be nearly so eager to snap photos if dead kittens or gutted lambs were sailing over their heads.
“Killing animals so you can toss their bodies around for amusement is just twisted,” said Ashley Byrne, senior campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Washington, D.C.
The fish are caught at Pike’s Place are caught, not for tossing, but so that we can eat them. The fish were originally tossed for efficient transport from one location to another. People were charmed, so now it’s a bit of a show. The fish would be dead anyway.
More important, fish are not puppies or kittens. The latter are cute, the former are not. The emotional resonance is different. Allow me to demonstrate: