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PETA'S "Sea Kittens" campaign

Discussion in 'SoCal' started by Ken Kurtis, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Ken Kurtis

    Ken Kurtis Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Beverly Hills, CA
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    I am furious and am asking you to join me in my outrage.

    Let me start you off with what got me going (and yes, it's apparently legit): PETA // Save the Sea Kittens

    This morning in the Los Angeles Times, in the "Candorville" cartoon, there was this: CANDORVILLE daily comics by Darrin Bell Archive Candorville 1/27/09: The Sea Kitten, part 2 . I didn't understand the connection until I was made aware of the PETA campaign by a post on one of the diving chat boards. At first I thought I was on a spoof PETA website or that it was a joke or that someone must have hacked into the PETA website because I couldn't believe someone at an organization like PETA could seriously concoct something so stupid and insulting.

    This has nothing to do with what "side" of the conservation issue you come down on. But for those of us who regularly work in the marine conservation field, it absolutely trivializes what we try to accomplish. As many of you know, I've been directly involved in the MLPA process for the past four years or so. I talk with fisherman, divers, conservationists, consumptives, non-consumptives, and others. All of these people, whether I agree with their position or not, have a strong love for the ocean and don't just come to their positions willy-nilly. Nor do they resort to gimmicks and stunts.

    On top of that PETA's "solution" may create other problems. One of the first things you learn when you wade into marine conservation is that nothing's black-and-white and a change here results in something happening over there. There's a lot of cause-and-effect so there are no "simple" solutions.

    If PETA wants to suggest that people eat vegetables instead of fish, it does nothing to address the issues of the damage that agricultural runoff causes to marine ecosystems. ("Save the sea kittens by eating more vegetables but ignore that you'll be killing the sea kittens you save with polluted runoff.") On top of that, PETA's solution does nothing to address areas like the Maldives, which rely on subsistence fishing for many villages and where growing vegetables is simply not an option because the land won't support it.

    Anyhow, I'm pissed and insulted. I have written a letter (copied below my signature) to PETA and would encourage you - if you agree with what I've said - to do something similar. I would love a public outcry to force PETA (1) to withdraw the campaign, (2) apologize for it's insulting tone and approach, and (3) fire those responsible for it's inception. If you'd like to write them (I don't have a direct e-mail address), PETA can be reached through this link and filling in the comment form: About PETA >> Contact PETA >> Contact Options >> E-Mail PETA .

    I don't normally get visceral reactions to a lot of things but this one just hit me wrong. I cannot in all good conscience stand idly by without trying to open PETA's eyes. I hope you'll join me in the effort.

    - Ken
    ------------------
    Ken Kurtis
    Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
    P.O. Box 11634
    Beverly Hills, CA 90213
    (310) 652-4990
    Reef Seekers Dive Co. Home Page
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dear PETA,

    You have GOT to be kidding.

    I don't always agree with PETA but I think the organization at least has some respect and gravitas for the work you do. However, this "Sea Kitten" campaign will make you a laughingstock.

    You should know that I am a non-consumptive scuba diver. (I also happen to work in the media.) I work very hard on numerous conservation causes including implementation of the MLPA here in California. I'm rather insulted by the tone of your campaign.

    You mention - tongue-in-cheek - how fish ought to fire their PR person. Well, maybe you should take you own advice and fire the idiot who thought up this campaign as well as anyone involved in pushing it forward.

    There are REAL issues that we who believe in marine conservation grapple with every day. For you to trivialize the struggle with the invention of something as insipid as "Sea Kittens" is simply beyond belief.

    It's also misrepresentation. Your characterization shows a complete lack of appreciation or understanding for the creatures of the ocean for whom you profess to share a concern.

    To those of us who dive, fish aren't the slimy, face-biting creatures you make them out to be. They are beautiful animals who exist in what is to us an alien environment and the fact that they are frequently as curious as us as we are about them only adds to the allure of diving.

    There are real problems to solve in the ocean. There are real threats these animals face from humans and from the changing ocean environment. For you cutesy it up doesn't so anyone any good.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

    I truly hope you'll rethink this juvenile and moronic campaign. If you really want to help the animals, figure out a message that has a ring of truth to it. Gimmicks won't cut it with those of you who truly care.

    - Ken
    -----------------
    Ken Kurtis
    NAUI Scuba Instructor
    Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
    Beverly Hills, CA
     
  2. DennisS

    DennisS Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sebastian, FL
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    PETA is fantastic at the PR game, they put all kinds of inane crap out there, newspapers pick it up, people talk it up, they get millions in free advertising.
     
  3. msg

    msg Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlottesville, VA
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    I am glad to see someone with common sense. Those PETA folks are nuts. I don't think that they will realize the importance of the fisherman, hunters, or others that utilize the animal kingdom and their habitat. MOST fisherman and hunters take better care of the environment than the "environmentalist".
    Thanks for your work in marine biology field Ken. Without people like yourself, our waters would not be fit to dive.
     
  4. TwoBitTxn

    TwoBitTxn Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Texas
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    I thought it was so asinine and pointless it was funny. To me it just shows what a joke the whole organization really is.

    Now get on the kick to get thier 501 c 3 status revoked for supporting known terroristic organizations and I'm with you.
     
  5. Clammy

    Clammy Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Los Angeles, CA USA
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    Getting rid of PETA should alleviate that problem as well as MANY others.
     
  6. DANM

    DANM Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: CAPE CORAL, FL
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    PETA is realy supposed to be spelled "PITA", for the Pain In The Ass that they are, complaining about anything to anyone who will listen
     
  7. mikemill

    mikemill Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sacramento, CA
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    I support PETA[sup]*[/sup]. Hmmm, I wonder if I can get Long John Silver's to deliver to their headquarters. Maybe stick some cat whiskers in there for good measure :wink:

    I would write a letter if I thought crazy people could be reasoned with.


    *: People Eating Tasty Animals
     
  8. TC

    TC Miscreant Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting, I feel much less outrage at the campaign than you seem to Ken, but that may be because I decided long ago that PETA were such extremists that their sanity would be called into question on a regular basis.

    Unfortunately I seem to have been correct.
     
  9. Ken Kurtis

    Ken Kurtis Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Beverly Hills, CA
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    Although I would generally agree with you, the problem with just ignoring them is that silence and not calling them on the carpet every now and then gives their message and methods leigitimacy due to a lack of any counterpoint.

    Sometimes you need to stand up and scream "NO!!!!!!"

    - Ken
     
  10. TC

    TC Miscreant Moderator Staff Member

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    Valid point, this is pretty much off the scale, even for them.
     

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