The Case Against Phish’s Name: Why It Seems Like PETA’s Press Releases Are Being Written By “The Onion” Editorial Staff

So People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals has taken time out from defending the honor of houseflies against President Barack Obama to give some shine to its Sea Kittens campaign, in which it tries to get people to call fish “sea kittens” because then who would want to fillet, saute, and feast on an adorable little kitty cat? (An example of their felinized version of the sea’s creatures is at left.) To spearhead this campaign, they have asked the jam-band titans Phish to temporarily rename themselves “Sea Kittens.” (The regular spelling would, oddly, be intact.) Feast on PETA’s open letter to Trey et al after the jump.

To: Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, and Page McConnell
From: Michelle Cho
Subject: Request From PETA for Phish

Dear Trey, Jon, Mike, and Page (aka Phish),

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 2 million members and supporters worldwide–many of whom are Phish fans, of course. We have a new campaign in which we generate empathy for fish by rebranding them as “sea kittens.” Would you contribute to our efforts and end your tour on a high note by temporarily renaming Phish “Sea Kittens?”

We launched our “Sea Kittens” campaign because few people are aware that fish are actually smart animals with personalities. For example, they communicate and develop relationships with one another, feel pain when injured (their lips are particularly sensitive, and they use them like we use our fingers), show affection by gently rubbing against other fish, and even grieve when other fish they like die. However, billions of them are kidnapped (er, kitten-napped) from their watery homes each year. As they are dragged from the ocean depths, fish endure an excruciating decompression process (which often causes their internal organs to rupture) before suffocating on the ship’s deck. Our campaign aims to convince people to choose tasty vegetarian meals instead of fish flesh and to pick harmless outdoor activities such as hiking instead of impaling fish with metal hooks for fun. Whether they are catfish or cats, bass or basset hounds, all animals deserve lives free from needless pain.

Phish has a long history of promoting social justice. Renaming the band Sea Kittens would be a great way to help sea kittens rock on, free from fishing nets and hooks, even if just for a day. Please let me know what you decide, and best of luck with your future endeavors.

Michelle Cho
Special Projects Manager

It seems absurd on its face, sure–but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt bad when I read the part about fish grieving. That’s what being around three dogs all day will do to you, I suppose.

Will Phish Change Its Name? [PETA]

  • brasstax

    Why don’t they take their campaign to other sea creatures who prey on fish (pardon, “sea kittens”)? Is being a carnivorous animal okay? Why is there a human double standard?

    Philosophy on living things aside… PETA has, over the last several years, lost any shred of credibility remaining.

  • Chris Molanphy

    I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt bad when I read the part about fish grieving.

    And I’d be lying if I didn’t note that I kept picturing the Faith No More “Epic” video while reading that.

  • ChrisB.

    I’m getting kind of tired about reading about the stupid things PETA is doing/saying. This is the third time this week!

    I live in Seattle and they’re planning a protest against the fish throwers at Pike Place Market. With the Obama/fly thing and now this, it’s getting exhausting reading about PETA’s dumb stunts.

  • DocStrange

    This is pretty ridiculous since the band actually named themselves after the nickname their drummer Jon Fishman and a variation of the old “ghoti/fish” joke. Did they even Wiki the band before sending them the same old “please change your animal-themed name because maybe a bunch of angry fishermen will stop killing fish because some band they’ve inevitably have never heard of has denounced them” letter they also sent to the Pet Shop Boys several months ago?

  • LostTurntable

    PETA can go fuck themselves. Every time they do something stupid like this I go out of my way to eat even more meat (preferably from KFC) just out of spite.

  • sicksteanein

    Stop reporting about PETA. That’s what they want.

  • thesemodernsocks

    @sicksteanein: we report, you decide.

    This was good for a giggle, of course. It’s not like PETA is the Taliban or the RNC. They aren’t evil, they’re just misguided. And stupid.

  • baconfat

    i bet they didn’t send a note to MOBY asking him to change his name to “sea kitten”.


  • Thierry

    Will they target “meat” bands next? The Meat Puppets = The Puppies Puppets?

  • DocStrange

    You know, I really hope some band names themselves Sea Kittens, and they’re some ungodly southern rock/death metal hybrid band who mid-show grill steak for the whole audience. That would shut PETA up.



  • Google affiliate marketing

    I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  • Elijah

    Your way of telling the whole thing in this paragraph is truly good, all be able to effortlessly understand it, Thanks a lot.

  • Mickey

    Hi! I realize this is kind of off-topic however I needed to ask. Does operating a well-established blog like yours require a massive amount work? I’m completely new to operating a blog but I do write in my diary every day. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!