Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The hippies are at it again. This time with "sea kittens".

How's that for timing? PETA is trying to "save the fish" by rebranding them from "slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads" (their words, not mine) to "sea kittens."

Again, I am not making this up.

It would appear people don't care about scaly, slimy fish and are all too eager to have someone hook, club, slice, gut, cook, and squeeze lemon over one for consumption. They needed to come up with a way to change people's perception of fish. I can see the brainstorm session now:
"So how do we create an emotional attachment to fish? They're ugly and eat worms."

There is a long pause with lots of "hmmmming" and pencils being tapped on empty pads of paper. (I know what this is like because I do it for a living.) Eventually someone tentatively says, "People like cats."

There's another pause while everyone thinks about this. "But cats eat fish too," someone in the corner calls out.

At this point, they should have killed the idea and moved on to something else. Sadly, this did not happen.

"True," a creative director offers, "But instead of cats eating fish, what if the cat was the fish! We change the entire way people view fish! Instead of viewing them as slimy underwater worm-eaters, we get people to see them as cats! Little, adorable kittens. Ah-HA!" His hands are stretched like he can see the headline floating in front of him. "Sea kittens!"

A flurry of note taking begins where everyone who works under this creative director tries to capture their understanding of his vision. Hasty sketches are drawn. Headline options are furiously scribbled. No one has the guts to say, "This is stupid."
So that's their first problem: they assume everyone likes cats. This is false. Not all people like cats. People like me. In fact, this campaign makes me want to eat more fish simply because they are now being associated with an animal I strongly dislike.

The site urges visitors to fill out a petition to to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to "save the sea kittens." I presume the people who work at the US Fish and Wildlife Service are well-educated people, particularly about animals and species and  the like, and are aware that there is no such thing as a sea kitten. This would make it very difficult for them to be saved since, you know, they don't exist. That's PETA's second problem.

However, PETA has been kind enough to provide the functionality to Create Your Own Sea Kitten. You know, to give you something visual to picture the next time you're looking at a piece of salmon on your dinner plate. This is mine:

I named him/her/it "Lunch". Why? Because of PETA's third problem: they neglected to put a "sound off" button on their site which drives me nuts. So I'm going to have a fillet o' fish today for lunch. From a fast food pace. In a food court. In a strip mall.