Sunday, February 10, 2008

Raising Awareness

As I've discussed before, the people at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) had a change of heart regarding our pet fish training efforts. After initial skepticisms and doubts about whether the ends justify the means, they now see pet fish training as helpful way to raise public awareness of fish as sentient creatures, deserving of ethical treatment.

In this article senior PETA writer Paula Moore highlights this perspective. In it, she recounts the recent trial of man named Michael Garcia who was accused of animal cruelty for killing his girlfriend's goldfish in order to torment and intimidate her.

Garcia's lawyer argued that the cruelty charge should be reduced to a misdemeanor, if not tossed out all together, because the victim was, after all, just a fish.

The court disagreed.It found Garcia guilty of the felony animal cruelty charge, sentencing him to two years in prison, a sentence that held up on appeal.

In the words of the PETA writer Paula Moore, "The court recognized what children all over the country, and some adults, already know. Sometimes fish are friends, not food."

Moore goes on in the article to describe our pet fish training efforts, and how our success shows that indeed, fish are more than just decorations in our tanks, or meals on our plates.

It was quite gratifying to be mention in such an enlightened and informative article. It was so well written in fact, that author Earl Hutchinson used Ms. Moore's article in his new (2008) book The Art of Feature Writing as a "great example of an editorial / feature article that brings to light things we never dwelt on before."


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