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Entries in PETA (18)

Tuesday
Jul222014

PETA Intensifies Anti-Fishing Campaign 

That bastion of rational thought, PETA, is taking advantage of two recent shark bites to ramp up its campaign against fishing. At both Manhattan Beach in California and Okaloosa Island in Florida, it has been using a plane to fly a banner that says, “Keep Hookers Off  Beach--- No Fishing.”

Yeah, it is just so clever with word play, equating anglers with prostitutes.

The incident in California does seem to call for a compromise of some kind regarding who can use the pier and adjoining beach and when they can use it. PETA and other zealots, meanwhile, want an outright ban on sportfishing.

At least Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth is seems to be the voice of reason.

“I don’t like that we’ve demonized fishermen because one guy was behaving seemingly very horribly,” she said. “I certainly want to make it safe for people to enter the water and water sports.”

She added that the city is considering limiting hours for fishing on the pier.

What did or did not happen when a swimmer came too close to the pier, where an angler was fighting a white shark--- and was attacked--- remains the object of debate. The angler has vigorously defended his actions, and the state has declined to prosecute him.

Manhattan Beach pier. L.A. Times photo

In Florida, meanwhile, a tourist was bitten by a small shark that likely mistook his foot--- or toes--- for fish or shellfish. The media reported that someone was fishing nearby, and PETA took it from there with its anti-fishing campaign.

Almost certainly the shark was a young hammerhead or nurse shark, both of which browse along the bottom in shallow water. Or it might have been a blacktip or spinner, common fish-eating sharks in that area.

The truth is that sharks are common in the shallows all along the coasts of Florida, but the vast majority of them are not man-eaters. Still, I wouldn’t go swimming at night, and I’d always keep a lookout for dorsal fins when I’m in the water during the day. And common sense would tell me not to swim near fishermen.

To show you what I’m talking about, here is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies--- Growing Up With Nature, which will be published later this year:

A couple of years passed before I once again was given the chance to figuratively see the light. This time I was fishing with live shrimp along a low seawall near a beach. “Jaws” had come out that year, and many people were afraid to swim in the ocean.

The 10 or 12 people down to my right, however, either had not seen the movie or didn’t care. Through their yelling and splashing, they left no doubt that they were having a good time.

As I watched them and waited for a bite, I saw a dorsal fin cutting through the water between the beach and the swimmers. “No, it couldn’t be,” I said to myself.

It was. A large shark cruised through the shallows, on its way toward me. I considered yelling to warn the people. But I decided against it, since the predator didn’t seem to be interested in them.

As it neared me, I saw that it was an 8- to 10-foot nurse shark, which is not a man-eater. But it was my first opportunity in a long time to finally catch a big ocean fish.

I cast the shrimp a few feet in front of the shark and waited. I was not disappointed. The big fish took, and I set the hook. In an instant the shark accelerated from a leisurely feeding pace to light speed, as it headed toward deep water.

It ran, and ran, and ran, until it had pulled all the line off my reel. Then the rod bent double, the butt slammed into my stomach, and the knot popped. The shark was gone.

 (If you like fish stories, you’ll enjoy my latest book, Why We Fish--- Reel Wisdom from Real Fishermen.)

 

Wednesday
Jul092014

Anti-Fishing Advocates Take Advantage of Shark Attack

Ken Jones photo of Manhattan Beach pier

Those who want to keep us from fishing are just as relentless as those who want to take away our guns.

That’s why I knew exactly what would happen after a swimmer was bitten by a hooked shark as he swam near a pier where people were fishing.

And it did. Manhattan Beach government officials in the People’s Socialist Republic of California immediately banned fishing on the pier.

Now People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is pushing for a permanent ban. In a letter to the city’s major, it said the following:

“When you consider that in 2012, anglers at the Manhattan Beach Pier reeled in at least four great white sharks on three separate occasions, it seems clear that the best way to protect public safety and reduce the risk that another swimmer will be injured or killed by a panicked or confused shark is to ban fishing at the pier permanently.

“Banning fishing will spare some of the millions of sharks, birds, turtles and other animals who sustain debilitating injuries after swallowing fish hooks or becoming entangled in fishing line every year."

Never mind that the swimmer was largely responsible for the attack. The zealots don’t care about addressing the cause of the incident, any more than they care about preventing future mass murders. They see these tragedies simply as opportunities.

What they care about is imposing their Big Government world view on the rest of us. Admittedly, a ban on fishing probably isn’t in the top five of their wish list. But it’s still there, along with gun control, open borders, public-funded birth control and abortion, and a power grid powered by unicorn farts and other sources of green energy.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said this:

“This weekend's incident was painful for both victims — the young shark who struggled for more than 30 minutes while impaled on an angler's hook and the swimmer who had the bad luck to stumble into the shark's path. PETA is calling on the mayor to look out for everyone who wants to enjoy Manhattan Beach, including the sharks who naturally shun human contact and, like humans, rarely attack without provocation.” (Notice use of “who” as a pronoun for sharks to humanize them.)

And in a post about the incident for LA Weekly,  the anti-fishing writer advocates a ban on fishing at all L.A. area piers. He also pointedly described the angler as a “tattooed fisherman.” No attempt to poison the waters for fishermen there, huh?

I don’t know the specifics regarding piers and fishing in California. But clearly swimming and surfing should not be allowed within a couple of hundred yards of piers used for fishing. If that’s not happening now, some sort of system needs to be established to accommodate all users. Possibly that would included designating some piers for fishing and the rest for other uses.

We can all live together peacefully. The problem is that some are willing to do so only by imposing their ideology on the rest of us.

Monday
Jun022014

Bass to Angler: 'See You in Court'

Visualize a PETA lawyer taking you to court on behalf of a bass. That’s what is coming.

If you fish and/or hunt and are not paying attention to the growing animal rights movement, you are ignoring reality and the threat that zealots pose to these American traditions.

Here is what animal rights advocates want:

  • No fishing
  • No hunting
  • No use of animals in medical research
  • No livestock in agriculture
  • No consumption of beef, pork, and poultry
  • No zoos
  • No circuses
  • And, oh yes, the same legal rights that humans have 

Check out this recent commentary at Powerline

“I managed to provoke fury in a graduate student earlier this semester when I expressed skepticism about animal rights by observing that I’d take the idea more seriously when we entered into labor contracts with our horses and livestock, and asked our pets for informed consent statements before subjecting them to the ministrations of a veterinarian. 

“Expressing such distinctions between human beings and other animal species is nearly as politically incorrect as questioning gender theory, gay marriage, climate change orthodoxy, etc.”

It goes without saying that animal abuse in any form should not be tolerated, and, sadly, too much of it continues to occur. But the most radical--- and active--- of the animal rights advocates are campaigning for far more than that. They want to deny use of animals in any way, and they want them to have the same rights as you and me, with their lawyers representing them in courts.

And here’s more: Legislature worries more about animal misery than human misery. 

Sunday
Dec292013

Snakes, Bears Make Florida a Dangerous Place to Live

Nationally, the exotic species of most concern are carp, mussels, and plants.

But in Florida, a reptile also is in the mix. It’s an apex predator that gobbling up birds, mammals, and other reptiles in the Everglades.

And as its food supply dwindles and its population increases, the Burmese python will expand its range.  It will go south into the Keys, west toward the Gulf coast, north toward Lake Okeechobee, and east toward the most densely populated portion of Florida.

At the moment, it seems unlikely that the python will migrate too far north. But it’s an exotic species in a new habitat, meaning behavior is unpredictable. Also, winters are moderating. Could it travel all the way up the peninsula and then west along the upper Gulf Coast? It’s possible, although unlikely.

What’s more certain is that the threat to human life will increase, especially in and around Miami. One of the largest snakes in the world, the python can grow to 20 feet in its native Asia, and already has been documented at 16 feet in the Everglades. Such massive reptiles weigh more than 100 pounds

And they can kill and consume human-size meals. Check out this recent report from Indonesia, where a python killed a security guard near a luxury hotel. A few years ago, a “pet” python killed a child in Florida. Earlier this year, two children were strangled by another “pet” in Canada.

Children and pets in Florida are going to be especially at risk in the years to come.

But I no longer believe that the python is the most dangerous species in the Sunshine State. No, it’s not the native alligator either.

I put the black bear at the top of the list. Its population has reached critical mass in the central part of the state, and, sooner rather than later, someone is going to be killed.

Especially in the Longwood area, the bears roam neighborhoods, tear up garbage cans, and try to enter houses. Nevertheless, many lived under the mistaken notion that they could peacefully co-exist with these large omnivores that will gobble up garbage as quickly as they will a pot-belly pig. Some of them still feel that way.

But they are wrong, as evidenced by the attack on a woman out walking her dog earlier this month. More recently, a bear broke into a screened patio, looking for food.

And, yet, the biggest problem is not the black bear. It’s the people. Some continue to feed the animals, despite warnings not to. Others don’t secure their garbage and/or feed their pets outdoors.

Those people who are the most problematic, however, are the bear defenders, those who raised holy hell when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) killed two in the aftermath of the attack on the woman, and those who mistakenly believe that they can live in peace and harmony with the bears if all people will just “follow the rules.”

What we’re talking about now in central Florida is a large, aggressive bear population that has lost its fear of humans and has learned that food is most abundant where people live. That food could be the remains of pizza, a dog, or a child. A wild predator doesn’t differentiate.

Of course, the animal apologists argue that their furry friends should be “relocated” to nearby national forests instead of being killed. The problem with that is that those areas already have the maximum population that they can sustain, which is one of the main reasons that bears are roaming suburban neighborhoods. Additionally, bears accustomed to eating from garbage cans and breaking into patios to eat pet food are not going to stay in wild areas; they will return to more civilized dining.

The most logical solution is a managed hunt, which other states, including New Jersey, already utilize as a way of keeping the bear population under check. That’s also the way that we maintain populations of deer, turkey, and other species. If we are going to co-exist with these animals we must limit their numbers because we also have reduced their habitat. It’s that simple.

But you can bet that if the FWC proposes a hunt, PETA and other animal rights groups will descend on Florida like a horde of locusts, delighting in the reality that they will receive nationwide publicity in such a high-profile state.

I don’t envy the good folks at FWC who want to do the right thing, but must figure out a way to manage both the wildlife and the uneducated people who seek to prevent the agency from doing what’s right.

And I am saddened by realization that the only thing that will prompt a rational response to this problem is for someone to be killed. No such easily implemented solution exists for the Burmese python, but it certainly does for the black bear.

Wednesday
Dec182013

Providing Aid and Comfort to PETA

Here’s a perfect example of providing aid and comfort to the enemies of fishing and hunting: SportsOneSource cites a PETA study regarding the benefits of synthetic insulation over duck and goose down.

I don’t question that synthetic might be better. It’s entirely possible and a comment below the article lends credence to that.

But just look at the wording in the article:

“PETA says a poll it commissioned shows that a vast majority, or 80 percent, of outdoor sports enthusiasts are happy to choose products with synthetic insulation rather than duck or goose down and would shop at stores that don’t offer any down products.

“The number rose to 88 percent after respondents were informed that down is sometimes obtained from birds force-fed for foie gras, in addition to the birds who are pinned down and have their feathers ripped out while they are still alive.”

Now, let me ask you this:

Do you think PETA’s motivation is to help sportsmen stay warm while they are hunting and/or ice fishing? Do you think that it would be content if down is no longer used as insulation in outdoor clothing?

SportsOneSource and others in the outdoors industry should ask themselves those questions before providing free publicity to an animal rights organization that wants to stop us from fishing and hunting.