New ‘Save the Sea Kittens’ Campaign January 30, 2009 By jennifer Who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten? Read more here. [Via Wes George]
wes george says
I chuckled at the absurdity of PETA when I first visited the sea kitten website. Oh, how silly!
Upon further reflection, I blanched. Beneath the Hello Kitty veneer of cuteness lies a creepy moral logic of a dark morbidity, something primeval and opaque, that’s being propagated by a modern, bright and happy multi-million dollar organization, fronted by beautiful celebrities, manned by fanatics, and answering to no one.
There is a long and sordid history of political groups using children to project their ideological agendas. Hamas leads children along the death cult path to martyrdom via suicide belt and AK47. The Soviets awarded medals to children who dobbed in their dissident parents to be sent to the gulags. Child soldiery in Africa….
Organizations that seek to indoctrinate children into service often have failed to achieve their extreme goals rationally, legally or democratically within the existing framework of society. Manipulating children for their own purposes is an attempt to out flank a system that will not otherwise yield to their demands. The subverting of children is always a declaration of war upon the larger society and often precedes a later more violent stage in the organization’s evolution.
Child psychologists have for about 40 years now advocated that the best way to attempt to modify a normal child’s behaviour is to calmly speak to that child rational. To walk the child through the logic of your argument to arrive at a logical conculsion. Then to allow the child to weigh rationally the alternatives to his or her actions. In a pedagogical setting rational discourse is the basis of a healthy and ethical relationship between teacher and students.
Yet PETA has chosen to engage young minds with emotional manipulation, threats, irrational fear and morbid fantasy rather than rational discourse based on objective facts.
Imagine, PETA asks the child, that the fillet on your plate is a cute little furry kitten. Ahhhh. How could you eat a kitten? Could you put a hook and line through a kitten’s face and cast it in the river?
PETA’s sea kitten website has “bedtime stories” which the site claims reveal “a lot about a culture…” And PETA bedtime stories do reveal a very sick corporate and moral culture at PETA, because the stories are designed to induce nightmares…
One bedtime story tells young readers they will be poisoned by mercury if they eat sea kittens.
PETA is using a classic Orwellian technique – the inversion of meaning. Fish are kittens. Hate is love. Or as Hamas teaches children: death is life. Cults understand that the great psychological power behind inverting an existential truth is that once the child has accepted a preposterous suggestion as true his natural sense of cognitive dissonance is numbed. The cult can then fully raise the curtain on their particular version of the theatre of the absurd and it will be simply accepted uncritically as objective reality.
Good is bad. PETA teaches children: a healthy food is poison. All children have been taught that fish are good for you. PETA tells the child: fish are poison.
In another “bedtime story” a poor sea kitten after watching her family hooked “through the mouth” and killed becomes: “bitter and insane. She spends her days plotting revenge against the land kittens who live in comfortable homes, free from the terror of being eaten.”
PETA is trying to emotional blackmail the young reader with guilt. Terror? My dictionary defines terror as “1. extreme fear, the use of such fear to intimidate people, esp. for political reasons.”
PETA use of the word “terror” is revealing and baffling simultaneously. I thought the website was about making fish so super cute and furry as to render them inedible. Pretty inane stuff. But something deeper and very much darker lurks beneath the Hello Kitty cuteness veneer…
“…bitter and insane. She spends her days plotting revenge against the land kittens who live in comfortable homes, free from the terror of being eaten.”
Is PETA attempting to create in the child’s mind a moral ambiguity between the victim and the terrorist? Are terrorists provoked into existence by their victims’ actions?
After all, if simply having fish for dinner is a terrorist activity inviting wrathful revenge by an insane Hello Kitty, then who is to say those who died when bitter Puffy Bears flew airplanes into the twin towers deserved their fate any less?
If PETA behaves in such a sinister way in regards to the ethical treatment of children, why should we believe PETA is anymore rational in their treatment of animals?
… and Jennifer is clearly echoing this absurdist crap to generate some traffic.
Louis Hissink says
Ah, the crap that some of the nameless write here to vent their spleens over politically incorrect posts. It is, after all, expected for their payscale.
PeTA is NOT an environmental organization and hence their latest attention seeking fund raising gimmick press release should be of no concern to a site such a this unless it’s as part and parcel of a discussion of the invasive and detrimental presence of the animal protest industry in environmental matters.
Bernadette Mentensana says
I think it’s a fantastic campaign! Aimed at hypocritical, gullible people who have no thought for where their food comes from or what real impact they are making on the world’s other inhabitants. Appeal to the sensibilities of the masses, even if it entails dropping the intelligence level to that of a primordial slick of pond scum. Thanks Jenn for putting this on your blog.
wes george says
If PETA wishes to try to dissuade children from eating fish they must do so through rational persuasion, which respects the rights of the child, rather than by subversive cult-like methods of emotional manipulation and intimidation.
Fish are not kittens. A child shouldn’t be told if she eats a “sea kitten” she’ll be poisoned. That’s unethical and unjust.
Nor should a richly funded multi-national corporation attempt to shame a child with guilt. That’s abusive and cruel.
Or indoctrinate children to a particular ideological position through duplicitous means. That’s an anti-humanistic violation of the child’s right to be treated as an intelligent individual, rather than as a means to achieve PETA’s socio-political objectives.
The website even tells children (see Sea Kitten Facts) that “…sea kittens are smarter than the president of the United State.” One supposes that the website was last updated during President Bush’s term.
Why does PETA feel that it is appropriate to tell children that the President is dumber than a carp? It’s a non sequitur glimpse into a hidden agenda well beyond PETA’s terms of reference.
I have no issue with PETA’s fundamental right to free expression, although I don’t agree that eating fish is a violation of ichthyic entitlements.
The problem lies in the dishonest and unethical manipulation of children’s emotions as a method of disseminating their message.
One wonders whose rights PETA holds to be more inviolate, those of a human child or those of a smoked trout?