Today's post comes to you from the great Bill Flick of The Pantagraph fame. I read Mr. Flick regulary; I have since I was in fifth grade. I remember even taking a class trip to The Pantagraph when I was in sixth grade and the only part that excited me was getting to meet Mr. Flick. I'm sure if I dug around my parents' home I could still find the paper plate that he signed for me! The column he had in Sunday's paper just made me love him all the more.
Dear PETA: Please Pass the Tartar Sauce
So PETA, that world-famous group of folk who ardently defend animals against all dangers, including many efforts that are downright stupid, is at it again.
Maybe you heard the story on the news or read Scott Richard-son’s column in this paper.
In an “urgent” letter sent Monday to the Bloomington-based offices of the Illinois High School Association, the group is demanding that (warning: this is not a joke) the IHSA end bass-fishing as a sponsored activity because …
• “Fishing is a blood sport that causes physical and psychological suffering upon fish.”
• “Fish have sensitive mouths (and) removing a hook results in painful injuries to (their) lips, throat, mouth, and/or face which can easily become infected.”
• “Some fish are cut open while they are still conscious …”
The assertions by PETA go on for more than a page, and reaction has been varied and widespread.
Outdoorsmen, like Richardson, are in a furor naturally, citing how PETA’s “facts” are suspect.
At IHSA headquarters on McGraw Drive, officials say they have received a copy of PETA’s concerns but not planning immediate action.
In Springfield, education leaders are considering the claims but apparently also eye-rolling, since fishing has gone on for centuries.
I guess I am left with a question apparently not yet asked:
Haven’t these PETA folk ever had a fish sandwich?
Why aren’t they picketing Red Lobster?
What do they eat on Fridays during Lent?
How do they think fish end up on a plate? By hypnotism? By special invitation? By taking a wrong turn at Oakland and Mercer and accidentally just swimming into Long John Silver’s?
The PETA concerns state further, “We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals.”
This spawns even more ques-tions:
How fast do PETA people drive their cars?
1 mph? 2 mph? Surely not up to 3 mph, right?
Insects, after all, are animals too, and each year, my windshield alone probably squashes 100,000 insects. I kill insects right and left, especially in summer. A picture of my windshield is surely on the “Wanted!” board down at PETA headquarters.
What about spiders in the basement?
Or termites in the wall?
Are we to believe PETA folk humanely catch them and politely walk them all back outside?
Same with mice.
If PETA thinks catching a fish is torture, what about the poor mouse in your basement that — whack!!! — gets it in your trap?
As a Humane Society official put it on TV the other night, after the IHSA story broke: “They‘re intent is honorable. It’s their actions that can be absurd.”
I also am reminded of how all animals on the planet are occasionally treated unfairly, sometimes directly in the very defense that PETA tries to uphold …
If, as an example, a sad-looking dog shows up at your door late one wintry night, obviously tired and lost, you might give it some food.
You might let it in.
There’s a chance you might even get out an old blanket and let it stay the night.
But go to the same door on the same wintry night and instead find a strange man standing on your stoop, tired, looking for food and wanting to come in, and what do you do?
I know what you do.
You call police!
My bet is any PETA member would, too.
These overly obsessed PETA folk, there’s something fishy about them ….