The organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently posted a laughable video calling for an end to fishing.
In the video entitled “Fish Feel Pain,” PETA suggests fishing is bad for the environment, encourages kids to terrorize animals, and harms health. Good lord!
I couldn’t help but chuckle at the claims PETA makes with respect to fishing. But then again, PETA is for preservation–not conservation–at the expense of humans and animals. PETA has gotten into hot water for euthanizing animals, as was the case in Norfolk, Virginia, in 2014. Here’s more from Huffington Post:
The group euthanized 2,454 of its 3,369 cats, dogs and other animals, the vast majority of which were “owner surrenders,” meaning that they’d been relinquished to the group voluntarily. Just 23 dogs and 16 cats were adopted.
These figures aren’t shocking to PETA’s long-time critics — who have for years pointed out the discrepancy between how this prominent animal rights group is perceived, and what they actually do — but they are leading to a renewed call from no-kill advocates to put the shelter out of business.
Much to the chagrin of PETA, the fishing industry–whether commercial or recreational–promotes a culture of true sustainability, family fun, and economic productivity.
Fishing promotes conservation
Contrary to PETA’s claims, fishing actually does promote conservation. The methods employed by anglers are deeply rooted in conservation because we want to enjoy fish for years to come. If we resort to overfishing, then the industry would tank and the environment would suffer as a result. Anglers like and encourage clean waterways, ethical methods, and safety at all times–with minimal government interference, of course. It’s our job to be good stewards of the environment–unlike those annoying radical environmentalists who lead hypocritical lives. With respect to hooks harming fish, let me pitch Circle hooks–a type of hook used whenever anglers fish with live bait. The tip, or point, of the hook is curved inward–hence its circle shape. Why? They lower the likelihood of fish swallowing them. Talk about a win-win situation for anglers and fish!
Instead of accepting PETA’s propaganda, learn from those who partake in the industry such as commercial fishermen, marine biologists, and professional anglers. They can attest to fishing’s positive impact on the environment.
Fishing has many benefits
PETA bemoaned how evil and cruel fishing is but are in denial of its many benefits. According to TakeMeFishing, fishing relieves stress, improves relationships, increases knowledge of nature/the outdoors, improves conservation, and boosts self-confidence. (Imagine that?) Our predecessors survived by means of hunting and gathering–why wasn’t there outrage then? This should make you question PETA’s intentions if you haven’t already.
Fish are friends AND food
Fishing is not only a source of fun, it can be a source of food–depending upon species and size limits. Whether or not one chooses to consume fish–certain species aren’t recommended for consumption, but many can be eaten–it’s important to recognize the value of fish in terms of bolstering the economy and protecting the environment. Both recreational fishing and commercial fishing help bolster the economy. According to a May 2016 NOAA report, recreational and commercial saltwater fishing alone pumped $214 billion back into the economy and supported 1.39 million jobs. Fishing encourages fun and helps put food on the table. Why can’t we celebrate this?
Fishing teaches valuable lessons
PETA alleges fishing will inspire kids to become violent when in fact, fishing instills personal responsibility and respect for the environment. On a PETA blog post, animal-welfare reporter and domestic violence counselor Deborah Kay Steinken said, “Children who witness cruelty to animals experience psychological and emotional damage that compromises their empathy development because they become desensitized to feelings of kindness, hurt, pain, and suffering in themselves and other living beings.”
Fishing compels kids to become abusers and murderers? Fishing inspires cruelty to animals? If fish are caught and kept for consumption, they sadly die. That’s an unfortunate part of life. But anglers want to see all species of fish–with the exception of invasive species like the snakehead–continue to thrive in waters. Not all fish are meant for consumption, but some are. Fishing teaches one to appreciate fish and their value in the environment.
PETA has a right to dislike fishing, but we have a right to mock them for being unrealistic and crazy. Anglers, like hunters, are leading the charge for true conservation–conservation that helps both humans and animals. Let’s aspire to promote pro-human, pro-business, pro-life environmentalism!