19 January 2009

Adopt a Sea Kitten!

This really doesn't relate to either baseball or my Ethiopian Adoption blog, but what the heck...

Some friends last week informed us of a wacky, new ad campaign being run by some organization called PETA (Please Eat the Tasty Animals, I think) to try to convince everyone to refer to fish as "Sea Kittens".

The idea here is that fish have kind of a bad image, and that people would not eat them if they thought of them as being cute and cuddly like kittens, though it must be said that no fish has ever missed the litterbox and left his business on the bathroom floor, thankyouverymuch.

Far and away the best part of this ad campaign is the fact that you can create your own Sea Kitten, and even email it to friends or put it on your MySpace page. There are four different kinds of fish you can start with, and lots of clothes and accessories to put on or near your sea kitten, including a suit jacket, a ball of string and a unicorn horn.

Most of these of course do little more than obscure the obviously scaly, wet, non-cuddly nature of the fish, the cartoon of which has already been made unrealistically cute with things like eyelashes and pouty lips.

Here's my attempt:

Also you can name your Sea Kitten.

This is, as far as I can tell, the most you can possibly get on one Sea Kitten without him sinking to the bottom of the ocean and, well, not drowning. He has cat ears, a mohawk, a leather jacket, an elephant's nose,a fu manchu, Lennon specs, swimmies, and a ball of string, litterbox and water dish.

How the light blue water manages not to seep out into the regular, dark blue water is not clear. Perhaps it's water made with deuterium, i.e. radioactive "heavy water", in which case you should probably not eat this fish anyway. Also I hear the jacket is kind of tough.

In any case, Sunny and I thought that this premise could perhaps be built upon, that we might be able to think of other animals, normally thought of as edible, and give them names that evoked much cuter images. This might make people less prone to kill them, cut them into fillets, dip them in whisked egg and milk, coat them with seasoned breadcrumbs and then saute them in olive oil until golden brown. Mmmmmm...., er, I mean no, bad Travis. Sea Kittens. Sorry.

So we came up with a list of potential alternative names that might make up the next PETA ad campaign:

Old Name     New Name
Chickens Pecking Bunnies
Cows Milk Puppies
Shrimp Tiny Sea Ferrets
Lobster Giant Sea Cockroach Hamster
Lamb Lamb

The theory kind of breaks down at the end there. I mean, what the heck can you do to make a lamb cuter than it already is?

They're innocent, fluffy little things that live on farms and drink milk and have big, black eyes and are generally as dumb as a bag full of hammers.

You don't even have to turn them into some kind of caricature to make them cute and adorable. Heck, one of the most famous puppet characters in history is a lamb! And yet even that character is named not after some cutesy aspect of the lamb's personality, not after its big eyes or soft fur, but after a dish you can make from the lamb after it's killed.

People know this. They are already aware of how cute lambs can be before they order them, and yet they do so anyway. And if that kind of cuteness cannot keep the cute, fluffy image above from turning into, well this:

Then fish (and cows and chickens, and especially lobsters) have little hope.

Nevertheless, it can be fun to try to think of other options that might work. Anybody have a suggestion (or an improvement) for the list?

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