Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fairfield Wants Penfield Light, PETA Drops Out of Running. But Will There Be Fish Sticks Served There?

When the federal government announced some time ago that it wanted to get rid of its lighthouses and was looking for local governments or non-profits to take them over, it prompted some odd plans, including one considered for a while by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is based in Darien.

PETA's plan was to submit an application to the federal government to take over the Penfield Reef light in Farifield and convert it into a cafe and a memorial to honor dead fish. It also wanted to use other lighthouses as the sites of "fish empathy projects." Here's how PETA described it:

In all seriousness, we're applying for the lighthouses to serve as the international headquarters of our Fish Empathy Project, where we would install interactive displays promoting the protection of fish. Plus, it would be the perfect place to house the world’s first Fish Empathy Quilt.

After we submitted our application for the Penfield Reef Lighthouse, we found out that an official with the City of Fairfield—backed by the local Historical Society—is trying to obtain the lighthouse. So we wrote to him offering to bow out of the competition (which, incidentally, is just between us and him right now) if he can ensure that no cruelty to fish (such as angling or fish sticks) takes place on lighthouse grounds.

So that was PETA's ultimatum to the town of Fairfield: you want the lighthouse and we want the lighthouse, but we'll back off if you guarantee there are no fish sticks there. I'm not joking. Apparently PETA was willing to give up its plan for a memorial to dead fish but only if Fairfield made two concessions, one of which was a promise not to serve Mrs. Paul's Frozen Fish Sticks at the lighthouse.

Whether the town caved to the demand, I can't say. The Connecticut Post reported yesterday PETA never actually got around to applying and that it looks as if the town will be the only applicant. Inexplicably, the Post story ignored the questions of whether there will be fish sticks there once the town owns it.

So now that I've made fun of them, let me make a serious point about PETA, namely that it does a lot of good, important work but that issues like fish memorials and bans on fish sticks make it look silly. Concentrate on the anti-fur campaign, which is effective and worthwhile, and campaigns against factory farming, which is an atrocity (the factory farming, not the campaign), in my opinion, and forget the fish sticks.

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Blogger Sam said...

That's the funniest thing I read in a while, no fish sticks fer a lighthouse. Who are these people and what brand of stuff are they smoking? Inquiring minds would like to know.

FYI, most pre-fab fish sticks sold in the store are pollock, a sustainable fishery off Alaska and in the Bering Sea. Yep, it's about the ONLY sustainable fishery left in the US.

You're right, Tom, these PETA folks should stick to furry critters. /sam

3:20 PM  

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