Last week the American Veterinary Medical Association held its annual convention in Seattle, which, predictably, drew a protest from PETA. Specifically, PETA wanted the vets to cancel a salmon-tossing exhibition by the popular Pike Place Market fishmongers. But when the veterinarians declined to cancel the event, the activists staged a protest on the sidewalk outside.
PETA demonstrators donned fish tails and shimmery paint to call attention to what they say is the vet group's disrespect for marine life. Some lay topless on the sidewalk and others carried signs that said things like "Gutted Alive."
Veterinarians told the local media the fish-throwing demonstration is a team-building exercise to help others in their field, and they see nothing wrong with it.
"I think it's important to point out that the fish are dead. We would not condone any activity that would mistreat live fish," said Dr. Ron DeHaven of the AVMA.
But PETA protesters labeled the event a "corpse toss." One PETA member said, "Throwing a dead fish is the same morally as throwing a dead cat or a dead dog."
AVMA leaders said fish-throwing is not the same thing. They add that their group supports the responsible use of animals and believe veterinarians are their best advocates.
PETA’s stunt at the AVMA convention caught the attention of Seattle-based radio host Ken Schram, who now says he is “done with PETA.”
“I have given money to PETA in the past,” Schram posts on his station’s Web page. “Even though I’ve always thought People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was leaning toward loony, the group still managed to tackle some legitimate animal welfare issues.”
Schram noted that PETA’s “underlying agenda” is that they don’t “like the way that fish come to be served for us humans.”
So, Schram posted this pledge on the Web site: “In honor of PETA’s foolishness, I pledge to eat fish for dinner every night this week. As for PETA, it’ll never see a penny of my money again.”
Thanks, Ken! — Greg Henderson, Drovers editor