BrizBunny Rotating Header Image

June 22nd, 2009:

PETA Wants Flying Fish Banned

Animal activist group PETA want to ban a century old custom in Seattle. The fishmongers in the city centre, Pike Place [^] markets have long practiced the art of throwing dead fish over the heads of customers and sightseers. That’s right; they throw dead fish, not live ones.

Pike Place Fish Co. #2 - Kyle & Kelly Adams

PETA’s desire to ban the practice was provoked by the American Veterinary Medical Association hiring of the fishmongers to perform a demonstration for their national convention in July. “Killing animals so you can toss their bodies around for amusement is just twisted,” said Ashley Byrne, senior campaigner for PETA. “And it particularly sends a terrible message to the public when vets call it fun to toss around the corpses of animals.”

The organisation not only wants to ban the exhibition, but would ultimately like to see the airborne movement of fish “corpses” in the market banned as well.

Jeremy Ridgway, one of the managers at the markets, says “I mean the fish are dead. The thing is we’re not laughing and making fun of them . . . It’s just Point A to Point B. That’s why we do it.”

The chief executive of the ACMA, W. Ron DeHaven, said “We support the use of animals for human purposes, such as food and fiber, exhibition and for use as pets and companions, and we think this is consistent with our principles. At the same time we wouldn’t want to do anything that would appear to be disrespectful of animals.”

What should be remembered here is that the fishmongers have a vested interest in ensuring that their product, fish “corpses” reach their customers in the best possible condition. If their treatment of the fish harmed them in any way then the practice would not have survived for the past century.

PETA seem to be using this event to campaign against the alleged cruelty of commercial fishing. We all need to realise that the production of meat, fish and poultry necessarily involves death and suffering by animals. This suffering is implicitly condoned and regulated by society. The regulation is an attempt to ensure that the death is as quick and humanely as possible, with minimal suffering. In choosing fights like this PETA only succeeds in opening itself up to ridicule.

Source: LA Times – Seattle’s Pike Place fishmongers under fire [^]

Photo Credit: "Pike Place Fish Co. #2 [^]" Kyle and Kelly Adams [^] CC-BY License

[Disclaimer – the CannibalRabbits and Corgi enjoy meat, poultry and fish]