Know Someone Who’s Overcompensating for Something?
Anyone driving along the Great Northern Road in Aberdeen earlier this month could not have missed a huge billboard which read, “Are You Overcompensating for Something?” The billboard – part of PETA’s latest anti-fishing campaign – depicts an angler tugging on a large, um, rod!
The ad was placed to coincide with National Fishing Month, which runs from 17 July to 15 August. Aberdeen was chosen because of its popularity as a fishing destination and its proximity to the rivers Dee and Don. The billboard also provides a link to a new PETA website, DoAnglersHaveSmallRods.com, which includes information on research showing the many ways men attempt to prove how “manly” they are – including developing hostile attitudes towards others. This got us wondering whether men who spend their time on a wet riverbank, cruelly hooking fish by the mouth and yanking them out of the water, are also overcompensating for some of their own shortcomings ….
Whilst the billboard and website is a light-hearted attempt to poke fun at a serious subject, the same cannot be said about angling. The moment fish are pulled from the water, they begin to slowly suffocate. In many cases, the fish’s throat is ripped out when anglers attempt to remove the hook. Fish are thrown, stepped on, impaled or mutilated while fully conscious and allowed to die painfully and slowly. Those who are released more often than not die as a result of internal injuries. And this is called “sport”? Fish may not be able to scream, but that doesn’t mean they don’t suffer.
Anglers need to “man up” and show respect for these intelligent, sentient animals who are every bit as capable of feeling as we are. PETA’s founder, Ingrid E Newkirk, recalls meeting one fish, a banded severum who, at 4:30 pm each day, would swim to one end of his tank and begin “pacing” in anticipation of his guardian returning home from work. The fish would then swim to the surface excitedly to greet his guardian and have his back tickled. This example alone is enough to show that fish deserve our respect.
If you know people who gets their jollies by impaling our aquatic friends, have them check out our advice page and get them hooked on compassion.