Show Down with PETA

art @ Kevin Todd 2009

by Kevin Todd

It was a mighty fine day when I went fishing with a co worker and his daughter. We decided to cruise on down to Charlotte’s Lake Norman; a huge lake with a lot of large rich houses, condo’s, marina’s…etc..you get the idea. We were cruising around the lake, when a particularly sweet looking spot caught our attention. It didn’t take much convincing for everyone to agree to pull into this fairly quiet looking cove..it only had two MANSIONS at either end of it. On one of the decks of the boat house, which was about 300 yards away from us, I saw this huge sign that said “PETA”. I knew that stood for People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals, but didn’t think anything about it. My buddy Ed, didn’t seem to notice the sign at all. While we were getting our lines in the water and making a few casts, I heard a bunch of splashing and yelling coming from the dock where the PETA sign was. I couldn’t hear clearly what they were saying, but they were beating the water with cane poles and screaming at us. Ed quietly looks up and says, “what the hell,..they ain’t going to catch no fish like that.” I nearly fell out of the boat, I was laughing so hard. I had a suspicion as to what those people were saying, but I wasn’t about to be telling.

It wasn’t long before those people got tired of beating the water and yelling. First thing we knew, this fine company on the dock was getting into their boat and were on their way out toward us. That’s when things got real interesting

So there we were in the boat; Ed (we’ll just call him Ed) his daughter and me, just trying to enjoy a day of fishing on lake Norman near Charlotte, and here they came out from their dock in their little boat, paddling like crazy toward us. They were all a hollerin’ and a yelling at us. At this point they were still kinda far away to make out exactly what they were saying, but it was becoming pretty obvious they didn’t want us around.

Now Ed, (still quite bewildered by it all ) shakes his head sadly and say’s,”them fellars are gonna scare all the fish plum to the other side of the lake”. Right then and there I knew I’d better explain to Ed what the huge “PETA” sign meant hanging on the boat house way over there on the other side of the cove, and how these people were all hyped up about animal rights. However, this bit of news just seemed to make his perplexed state of mind even worse. He sighed unhappily. “Well, wouldn’t you just know it; the anti fishin’ movement has invaded my fishing hole.”

That little boat kept getting closer. There really wasn’t much else to do except get started reeling in and get ready to head out. Ed had a difficult time trying to make his daughter understand why we were leaving..”Honey, them wormy lookin ,no meat eatin’ fellars over there don’t want us around so we’ll just be going.” He said this quietly, while all the time she was looking at him with big, wondering eyes.

By this time that PETA group was within fifty yards of us, and we could hear them screaming; “fish feel pain!” Fishing is murder!” I was really beginning to enjoy this. Ed was starting to get riled up. He shouted back at them; “If you boys don’t stop a’ slappin’ the water with them paddles, you might be fealin’ some pain yourselves!”

I couldn’t help myself. I’d started laughing like hell. One of the young fellars began pleading with us. “But what your doing is wrong. Fish feel pain. Can’t you see you’re taking them out of their homes!”

Those were his exact words I swear. I watched this one wormy fellow hollering back at us, and I couldn’t stand it no more. I said to him,.”well pardon us all to hell if I’ve never stopped to consider the emotional well being of a lake trout. Ya know boys, my ancestors didn’t fight and struggle their way to the top of the food chain, just to come home to supper after a hard day’s work to a plate of beets and carrots.” I considered the extent of my brilliance, then continued. “Ya know, if God didn’t want us to eat animals, how come he made’ em outa meat?” Well, I knew that probably wasn’t the most original line, but it got Ed’s daughter laughing pretty hard, which was a relief.

Ed thought my choice of words was quite agreeable, so he threw in a “chew on that, ya bunch a peta heads!” Figuring we were good to go as long as we got in the last word, Ed fired up the bass boat. I guess he couldn’t help but do a quick 360 around that little craft of theirs, leaving them all pitifully alone and shouting their objections at no one in particular. Off we went to several spots where things looked nice and peace and ended up enjoying a day of great scenery, and catching fish.

I’d be done with the story except this little incident inspired a poem, I don’t write very many of these at all. It’s not my thing, I’m an artist not a poet, but after what happened, I just had to put something down. .I’ve only written one poem my whole life, and the woman it was intended for never read it;.but that’s a whole other bucket of worms I’m not gonna get into. To all PETA supporters, I apologize, but you know, a person’s got the right to say what’s on his mind.

You protest the things we like to eat, like cow’s, turkey’s, and pickled pigs feet.
you protect the rights of the protein givers, the lamb, the steer, and the chicken liver’s
And now you protest my right to fish, to fry up and serve this delectable dish?
Instead you’d have us eat vegetable stew, some pea’s, some carrots ,a ‘mater or two.

We just can’t live without our fried flounder, our barbeque sandwich,
our double quarter pounder.
Our pallet’s desire the taste of fresh meat, I’ll have the T – bone
you keep your beets.

And now you better beware of us bassmaster boys,
cruising the lakes in our bass boatin toys,
we take pride in our sport, with us you don’t trifle,
cause some of them boy’s
is toatin’ a rifle.
So go ahead you wormy PETA heads, with all the saving the whales and freeing the minks,
your probably wasting your time, thats what this ol’ boy thinks,
we’ll keep eating our meals with our kids and our wives,
so sit down, shut up,and quit ruining our lives.
yeah just keep it up you ignorant souls,
a beatin’ the water with your bamboo poles,
I know you wish we would quit, well ya better keep wishing,
cause like it or not, we’re a gonna go fishing!

About karlsie

Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different. General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel. The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love. Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor. We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.

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9 Comments on “Show Down with PETA”

  1. What does PETA have scouts hiding everywhere? How annoying. There are specific things that I agree with PETA about, like the terrible conditions animals are forced under for the sole production of meat and other products. But c’mon sometimes they just over do it, like this fish example.

  2. I’d love to see your cartoon drawing dominate a much larger space on your page. The humor in it definitely tickles my funny bone. The “down home” style of your presentation also tickles me. Fish are lower on nature’s food pyramid than chickens. Although i might waver between many possibilities as to humandkind’s spiritual connections, i’m a very firm believer in nature. Beneath our reasoning outer layer brains; which no other creature has to such a degree; is our animal brain; predatory, somewhat carniverous and distinctly mammal. We can empatize with other mammals as they have many of the same characteristics. We can appreciate that many of the bird species are highly intelligent, although their brains are completely alien to our own. We have no possible way of knowing if fish have any real intelligence at all or if their habits are purely instinctual. Their brains are very tiny and are apparently set up to perform only the simplest functions.

  3. its true about the 3 second memory…though I heard the larger the fish the longer the memory….a whole 5 seconds instead of 3…WOW!

    lol…I like fish, I like to look at the tropical ones…those too tiny to eat. And I enjoy eating the larger ones. So kill me now. I was told fish do not feel pain. How true this is, I don’t know…which is why before skinning them alive, I generally do away with the head in hope that I caused as little suffering as possible. That being said, fish are good…to eat. 😀 Sorry.

  4. I said this in the other blog and I’ll say it here. The ‘fact’ that fish have a 2/3 second memory is a MYTH. An old wives tale. Look up any of the hundreds of studies done on it.

    I see a number of pieces being published bashing vegetarianism, and only one semi-defending it. With all the many articles lately I feel this site is extremely one sided.

    That is disappointing.

  5. Heather, all the stories here were voluntary viewpoints. If a vegetarian had sent in a well-written article, it would have been published as well. There were no such submissions.

  6. haha Mitchy boy you know that article wasn’t really much in “defense” of Peta. You made some excellent points though! And as always you were highly entertaining.

    I know Karla, but that was a flurry of articles with a negative viewpoint of vegetarianism, even a poem threatening violence was published. The site just seems to be leaning one way by printing so many articles on the same topic all at once.

    And I’m not much of a writer, but I might scout out someone who could do a good job of presenting another good vegetarian view point….

  7. I thought I’d stop by and see what all the fuss was about. I knew this little sunday afternoon fishing tale would get the PETA heads all worked up. the picture looks good up there, just wish it was a little bigger. ya’ll take care

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