PETA Jumps the Fish

If there is any question that PETA has long ago jumped the shark, this story in the Orange County Register should dispel any doubts.


An Irvine resident is requesting that the city install a sign to memorialize the hundreds of soles killed in a traffic crash in early October as they were being taken to Irvine Ranch Market.

Technically, the fish were going to die anyway. And they weren’t soles. They were bass, of the saltwater variety.

The crash occurred Oct. 11 when a truck carrying 1,600 pounds of live fish and several tanks of pure oxygen crashed with two other vehicles. The oxygen was used to keep the saltwater bass alive as the fish were being taken to market.

In the letter, Dina Kourda, on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, asks the city’s street-maintenance superintendent to place the sign at the site of the crash on Walnut and Yale avenues.

The sign would read, “In memory of hundreds of fish who suffered and died at this spot,” to remind tractor-trailer drivers of their responsibility to the animals who are “hauled to their deaths every day,” according to the letter, provided by PETA.

“Although such signs are traditionally reserved for human fatalities, I hope you’ll make an exception because of the enormous suffering involved in this case,” the letter read.

“Research tells us that fish use tools, tell time, sing, and have impressive long-term memories and complex social structures, yet fish used for food are routinely crushed, impaled, cut open, and gutted, all while still conscious,” the letter continued.


The letter requests that the sign be placed at the edge of the right of way farthest from the road to prevent it from interfering with traffic.

Or fish.


To be honest, I am not sure what to say about this. Looking at PETA’s website, it would seem that they do indeed have trouble distinguishing between fish and human beings. Words like idiocy and madness keep coming to mind as I look over the causes they support. But maybe that is too simple. What is really striking is the impracticability of it all. PETA does not believe in any exploitation of any animals no matter how beneficial to humans, even if such exploitation is done with as little suffering as possible. They have a little

English: Cover of a comic book created by PETA...
PETA is completely rational and sane.

statement at the top of the site, “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way.”


This is a statement which could only be made by people living relatively recently, in the most developed parts of the world. It would have made no sense at all before the industrial revolution with the slow replacement of animal and human labor with machines. Would they have insisted that humans pull coaches, wagons and plows?  Would they have insisted that people go naked rather than wear furs? This ideology trades the relief of animal suffering with increased misery for humans.



We use animals less nowadays, but the principle still holds. Obviously we still eat them. Fur is not so fashionable, but leather is still widely used. We still use animals for medical research. PETA is against all such research, no matter what pains are taken to keep the pain suffered by the lab animals to a minimum. Again, this entails greater suffering for humans, since without such experimentation, either humans must be used to determine if products are safe, or medical research will have to all but come to a halt.


I, like most sane people, do not believe in being cruel to animals, but again, like most sane people realize that using animals for food, clothing, experimentation, etc  is necessary and completely acceptable. I hope this sign in Irvine never goes up, but this being California, who knows?




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