Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Do We Need Roadside Memorials for Dead Fish?

We've all seen those sad makeshift memorials on the side of the road, where a fatal car crash has claimed a life and somebody wants the victim remembered.

Our friends over at the animal rights group PETA takes this one step forward: In California, they want a roadside memorial erected at the site of a truck crash that spilled 1,600 pounds of saltwater bass, according to the Redding, (Calif.) Searchlight.   The fish, which had been bound for a market to be, um, killed for human consumption, died in the crash.
Does this victim deserve a roadside memorial?

So PETA wants a roadside memorial for the unfortunate fish who died so tragically in the truck crash

The city of Irvine, where the crash happened, has cruelly turned down PETA volunteer Dina Kourda's request for the roadside memorial.   PETA says they'll try again.

PETA's point is fish value their lives and feel pain, so if they die, it's a worth a roadside memorial. Somehow, it's worse than being killed at the fish market.

"They are on their way to slaughter, which is, of course, pretty hellish. To suffer an accident on the way and be left in the middle of the street is unthinkable," the Searchlight article quoted  PETA spokeswoman Asheley Byrne.

But this idea could get out of control, no? I mean, how many other trucks actually make it to the market without incident? How many memorials would we need at the fish market? And wouldn't that get in the way of shoppers trying to obtain fish? Or is that PETA's point?

What about all the road kill on the road to the fish market, or any road? I have seen so many squirrels, skunks and raccoons who met a premature end on some roadway. You'd need a memorial every three feet on the road's shoulder. Who would put them there? Who would maintain them? How would you find room for road signs that tell motorists to slow down so they don't run over other poor animals trying to cross the street?

I can see how the city of Irvine would turn down the idea of a memorial for the dead fish in the truck crash.  Lots of politicians and city leaders like to avoid setting precedents.   According to the Redding Searchlight article, PETA has tried to put up memorials for  pigs killed in Virginia and cows killed in crashes in Illinois, Kansas, and Manitoba, Canada.. None won approval.

Irvine, I guess, went the way of the other cities.  Which makes sense. I don't think you can even buy fish memorials anywhere.  Though I suppose that could become a brand new, job-creating industry. As long as the trucks shipping the roadside fish memorials don't run over any animals on the way to the places that ordered the memorials.

IRVINE (AP) — Animal activists want a California roadside memorial sign to honor fish killed during a container truck crash.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals volunteer Dina Kourda told Irvine's street maintenance chief the sign would remind drivers that fish value their lives and feel pain.
About 1,600 pounds of saltwater bass died on Oct. 11 when the truck hauling them to market got into a three-way crash.
Kourda's letter acknowledges roadside memorials traditionally honor humans, but she hopes an exception will be made.
Irvine spokesman Craig Reem says there won't be a fish memorial.
But PETA spokeswoman Asheley Byrne said they will go back and ask again.
It's not the first time PETA has asked to post a memorial for animals killed on their way to slaughter.

It's their first fish effort. They will continue trying for memorials when trucks carrying animals to slaughter are involved in crashes and there is a heavy death toll.
"They are on their way to slaughter, which is, of course, pretty hellish. To suffer an accident on the way and be left in the middle of the street is unthinkable," Byrne said.

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