PETA wants South Dakota school to change its name

Spearfish, S.D. (AP) — The activist animal rights group People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked school officials to
change the name of Spearfish High School to “Sea Kitten High

The new name would “reflect the gentle nature of its current
marine namesake,” the organization said in a letter to Steve
Morford, Spearfish High School principal.

PETA said the letter is part of a new Sea Kitten campaign aimed
at children.

If children were taught to refer to fish as “sea kittens,”
reflecting that fish, like cats and dogs, are “individuals” that
“do have friendships,” fewer fish might be killed for food or
sport, said Pulin Modi, a PETA spokesman.

“We want people to realize that more fish are killed each year
than all animals combined,” he said. “They don’t have the sympathy
of more popular animals like cats and dogs.”

Morford said he did not want to share his feelings about PETA.
“Obviously, it’s nothing we’re taking seriously,” he said.

Spearfish students have access to the Internet at school and had
started talking about the request.

“It’s so illogical that it’s hard to comprehend it,” senior Zach
Retzl said. “I really don’t think any student would necessarily go
for that.”

Spearfish High School is just named the same as its town and
doesn’t promote hunting or fishing, he said.

“I would say it probably has something to do with Native
Americans and what they did to hunt for food to survive,” Retzl

“Most parents would never dream of spending a family weekend
torturing kittens, but hooking fish through their mouths and
pulling them through the water is just as painful as hooking a
cat’s mouth and dragging him or her behind a car,” Dan Shannon,
whose title was listed as executive director, wrote in the letter
to Morford that was posted online by the Black Hills Pioneer.

“We’re hoping that this name change will encourage people young
and old to start treating these gentle “kittens of the sea’ with
respect and show them the kindness that they deserve. We hope that
Spearfish High School will start off the semester right by changing
its name to Sea Kitten High School.”

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