Canada.com | Misty Harris | Jan. 13, 2009
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has launched a marketing campaign to rebrand fish as “sea kittens,” a name the organization hopes will increase awareness and make the vertebrates more endearing to those who would eat them.
“A lot of people don’t realize that fish are capable of feeling fear and pain, that they develop relationships with each other, and even show affection by gently rubbing against one another,” says Ashley Byrne, PETA’s sea kitten campaign co-ordinator. “Knowing that the fish sticks in the school cafeteria are really made out of tortured sea kittens makes most kids want to lose their lunch.”
The advocacy effort, which also addresses environmental concerns about over-fishing, is the latest in a growing list of publicity campaigns by non-profits, conservationists and animal activists that treat “misunderstood” creatures – everything from cats to slugs and spiders – as if they were celebrities in need of better representation.
As a humourous entry on the sea kitten website states, “fish need to fire their PR guy-stat. Whoever was in charge of creating a positive image for fish needs to go right back to working on the Britney Spears account and leave our scaly little friends alone.”
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