I can't make this stuff up.
In a letter dated June 19, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has asked that local jam icons Phish temporarily change their names to — are you ready? — Sea Kittens, for this weekend's shows in Wisconsin.
The request comes as part of the organization's ongoing "Sea Kittens" campaign, which attempts to cutesypomorphize our fine finned friends in an effort to curb fishing — of both the commercial and recreational kind, apparently. The thinking being that nobody this side of Chuck Manson could possibly eat something adorable — though one assumes PETA has never had the "Bambi & Thumper" plate at the Road Kill Cafe. Mmmm . . . Disneylicious. Ahem.
Put another way, here's the logic:
Q: Would you eat a yellowfin tuna?
Q: OK. But would you eat a yellowfin kitten?
A: Um . . . does it taste like a yellowfin tuna?
In a quote accompanying the press release announcing the letter to the Phab Phour, PETA's Ashley Byrne makes her case:
"If Phish became Sea Kittens and the band's legions of fans started calling fish 'sea kittens,' fewer of these gentle animals would be violently killed for food, painfully hooked for 'sport,' or cruelly confined to aquariums."
Maaaaybe. But have you ever been to a Phish show, Ashley? (My suggestion: try to convert them before the nitrous breaks out. Just sayin'.)
For the moment stepping away from the prickly debate over whether or not eating animals is ethical — I get hungry just reading "Animal Farm" — PETA's proposition does raise another, perhaps funnier, question:
If Phish does change their name to reflect (arguably) politically-correct gustatory convictions, could it set a precedent for other like-minded zoologically themed bands to do the same?
After much spirited discussion around the 7D office, the general conclusion is this: Good God, we hope so.
Some possibilities (feel free to add your own below):
The Beatles: The Love Bugs
Grizzly Bear: The Care Bears
Band of Horses: My Little Ponies
Howlin' Wolf: Yippin' Puppy
Dr. Dog: Doogie Howser
Andrew Bird: Tweety Bird
The Cat Empire: The Kingdom of Land Fishies
Def Leppard: Hearing Impaired Leppard
John Cougar Mellencamp: John Kitten Mellencamp
Gorillaz: The Monkees
Le Tigre: French Kittens
Modest Mouse: Actually, that's already pretty good.
Danger Mouse: Ditto.
Snoop Dogg: Snoopy
Cat Stevens: Kitten Islam
And of course,
The Animals: The Living Beings That Feel Pain, Communicate, Show Affection and Have Every Right to Exist So Don't Eat Me, You Douchebags