After their big win last night, the Preds are getting even more national attention...this time from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who aren't too thrilled with the catfish-chucking. PETA Senior Director Colleen O'Brien says catfish are "sentient beings who feel fear and pain, and throwing fish—dead or alive—onto the ice is no more acceptable than throwing live or dead kittens onto the ice". Pretty much a walk-off debate point right there...throwing kittens would NOT be acceptable. Look, I consider myself an animal lover, although I've usually restricted that to the cute and cuddly ones, but maybe Colleen has a point. A couple of things to consider here before we turn to the This Is Cruel vs. It's Our Tradition debate:
1. Cruelty aside, who is carrying a fish in their pants for an entire game, waiting for just the right moment to toss it over the glass? And you're doing this with LIVE FISH? Time to take a loooong look in the mirror and see if you're enjoying sports in a healthy way. I think you might care too much.
2. I'm sort of inclined to let the Preds off the hook for this. People are going to sneak stuff into the arena, and the type of person willing to conceal a fish is HIGHLY motivated. I would like to know if the fish-chuckers are being ejected, as I'm pretty sure that practice is already a violation of general arena policy. There is the problem of the little plush catfish for sale in the pro shop though...
The full letter from PETA:
PETA's letter to the Nashville Predators follows.
November 26, 2014
Thomas G. Cigarron
Chair and Governor
President of Hockey Operations and General Manager
Dear Messrs Cigarron and Poile:
I'm writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 3 million members and supporters—including thousands across Tennessee, with many sports fans among them—in response to reports that a catfish was thrown onto the ice during your game yesterday, November 25, against the Los Angeles Kings, and that catfish have been thrown onto the ice at other games in the past. We encourage you to prohibit fans from throwing fish—dead or alive—onto the ice in the future and have a proposition that would help make this a win-win situation for both animals and Predators fans.
Whether you want to think about it or not, fish are sentient beings, capable of feeling fear and pain. It's no more acceptable to harm them than it is to harm any other living beings. Please, won't you prohibit fans from engaging in such insensitive acts?
We'd be happy to send you 1,000 plastic fish that you could distribute to guests at Bridgestone Arena. Fans could use them in a harmless, fun way to celebrate their team's success without making light of cruelty to animals. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.
Senior Director of Communications