The environmental activist organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is up to its ‘slick willy’ shenanigans again on the alleged mistreatment of animals. As always, PETA is trying to net publicity and a ‘fishy’ financial handout.
PETA has been at odds with the Tampa Bay Rays professional baseball team. The franchise has a 10,000-gallon, 35-foot fish ‘touch tank’ located in center field at the Rays’ Tropicana Field. The tank holds 30 cownose ray fish. Each fish has 333 gallons of water to splash and live.
PETA’s disagreement with the sports franchise recently escalated when Detroit Tiger slugger Miguel Cabrera became the second player in history to blast a home run into the touch tank  (click the link to watch the video).
PETA sent out a news release which said the “abducted” rays in the tank were ‘endangered inhabitants.’ The tank should be closed to allow the fish to enter a rehabilitation program…for fish.
No fish tale.
A PETA letter e-mailed to the Tampa Tribune said, “The rays held captive at Tropicana Field not only were traumatically taken from their vast home waters but also are subject to harassment, loud crowds, and even baseballs capable of seriously injuring them.”
The Tampa Bay Rays has a policy that the team will donate $5,000 to charity for every ball hit into the tank with $2,500 each going to the Florida Aquarium and the player’s preferred charity.
I’m surprised that PETA hasn’t asked strong-armed Cabrera to donate a year of his salary – a mere $19 million – to expand PETA’s fish rehabilitation program.
I have heard of ‘horse whisperers,’ folks who supposedly can hear and interpret horses communicating with each other. Perhaps the folks at PETA have gone through a top secret fish whisperer program where they squish their lips together to communicate with disgruntled fish.
Growing up on a Mississippi Christmas tree farm, I gained some fish sense from talking to “fish” in the ponds – bass, bream, catfish, snapping turtles, and a poisonous snake or two.
The fish didn’t listen much when I asked them to bite the hook and eat the fat, juicy worm. Instead, perhaps these fish, too, were in deep depression, given the fact that their animal kingdom buddy - the worm - was squirming on the hook.
There is a potential solution to the baseball-PETA clash. Since the owners of the baseball franchise refuse to close the fish touch tank, perhaps the franchise should order specially-made baseball gloves for the fish.
Attach a glove to each fin and then in fish language mouth the words - ‘Play Ball.’
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