Another PETA Staffer With a Name Change Gimmick

Nineteen-year old People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals staffer Chris Garnett garnered a bit of press at the end of 2005 by legally changing his name to KentuckyFriedCruelty.Com.

This is, of course, simply a copy of an earlier stunt when Karin Robinson supposedly changed her name to GoVegan.Com. Of course, she only used it for about 15 minutes — when she sends letters or gives interviews to newspapers, she goes by Karin Robinson.

Presumably, Garnett will abandon his moniker the minute after media outlets stop writing about it.


Teen’s New Name: KentuckyFriedCruelty.Com. Associated Press, December 30, 2005.

PETA Activists Protest at Sea Food Store — But Some Folks Mistake It for Store Promotion

A couple People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ activists protested outside a seafood restaurant in Bar Harbor, Maine, but some passersby thought the protest was actually a restaurant promotion.

PETA’s Karin Robertson and Kelsey Gibb demonstrated across the street from the Parkside Restaurant, which features six or seven lobster dishes according to its manager, James Costello.

Gibb dressed up in a lobster costume, while Robertson handed out fliers. But some folks were confused about the protest. One passerby, Jeff Brent, told The Bangor Daily News,

It’s a little over the top. I thought it was an advertisement for the lobster house across the street.

Brent added that the protest would have made a bit more sense if the lobster had been standing in a pot.

Robertson told the newspaper she was satisfied with the response,

I think we’ve had a good response from people. Most people wouldn’t consider boiling any other animal alive. . . . Hopefully, they’ll leave them in the ocean instead of throwing them in to a pot.

Robertson and Gibb protested at a number of lobster restaurants in the northeast, but oddly enough seems to be shying away from its “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” tactics. According to Robertson, PETA decided not to protest at the Main Lobster Festival in Rockland. Robertson told the Bangor Daily News,

We’ve gone to the lobster festival in the past. We don’t really need to draw attention to a festival that promotes cruelty to animals.

PETA passing an a publicity opportunity? Please, say it ain’t so.


PETA activists protest in lobster-eating mecca. Bangor Daily News, August 10, 2005.

PETA Complains about Zoo Fishing Program

In July, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals complained about a fishing program for children held at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. The program is sponsored by Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection.

A state website describes the Connecticut Aquatic Resources & Education program thusly,

CARE classes introduce you to the wonders of water, fish and fishing. The CARE program has taught over 66,000 citizens about water, fish and fishing since 1986. Our Certified Instructors will pass along the knowledge they have learned through years of angling. Videos, demonstrations and activities will teach and entertain youths and adults alike. The program is comprised of free classes and outdoor workshops which foster resource stewardship, promote an understanding of aquatic systems and fishery management decisions and encourage both an understanding and utilization of aquatic resources.

This brought a complaint from PETA’s Karin Robertson, who told The Connecticut Post,

It is very inappropriate for a zoo to run a program for children teaching them how to fish. A zoo’s mission is to teach kids how to respect animals. Fish are amazing animals — to teach fishing is to teach cruelty to animals. . . .When fish are caught by hooks, they are impaled and ripped out of the water. Imagine hooking a dog or cat through the mouth with a large hook and dragging them.

According to The Connecticut Post, Robertson said the hundreds of scientific studies show that fish are intelligent and learn from other fish. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection biologist George Babey took issue with that claim, telling The Connecticut Post,

The vast majority of peer-reviewed research reveals that fish are quite primitive in the development of their nervous system. Their brain even lacks entire sections found in higher-order animals that lead to a determination of pain.

Babey also noted that fisherman contribute large amounts of money, in many ways, to helping preserve the fish habitats.


Fishing program at zoo criticized. Joan Stableford, The Connecticut Post, August 1, 2005.

Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, October 25, 2002.

Minnesota Governor Rejects PETA’s Request To Protect Walleye Pike

In July, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Karin Robinson sent a letter to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

That letter asked Pawlenty to make it illegal for fisherman in Minnesota to catch the state fish, the walleyed pike.

Instead, the Governor’s office released the following statement,

The following is a statement from Governor Tim Pawlenty regarding a request from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to declare walleye off limits to fishing in Minnesota:

“PETA continues to display goofy judgment. Fishing is part of our way of life in Minnesota – moms, dads, kids, and grandparents enjoy beautiful summer and winter days fishing. We care for and enjoy our natural resources the right way. The PETA ‘Fish Empathy Project’ is nutty and misses the mark. Fishing is not, as they claim, the same thing as hooking a dog through the mouth and dragging them behind your car.

“PETA should stay out of Minnesota’s proud fishing lifestyle. Because of their letter, I’m going out for a walleye dinner tonight.”


Pawlenty rejects PETA ‘fish emapthy’ request. Associated Press, August 4, 2005.

Governor Pawlenty’s Statement Regarding A Request From PETA To Declare Walleye Off-Limits To Fishing. Press Release, August 2, 2005.

PETA Wants Newspapers to End Fishing Columns

In March and April, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent out letters to newspapers across the country asking them to remove columns about fishing from their sports page.

Bill Sargent, who writes a fishing column for Florida Today wrote in a recent column that his newspaper received a letter from PETA that read, in part,

I’m writing to suggest that it is time to abandon your paper’s fishing column. More and more evidence from animal behaviorists shows that fish are sensitive, intelligent and interesting individuals. These fairly recent discoveries are driving PETA’s new ‘Fish Empathy Project,’ and they lend strong support to the move to regulate fishing columns to the dustbin of history.

. . .

And, as no one in their right mind can dispute, fish feel pain as all animals do.

Please consider this: You wouldn’t dedicate space in your paper to the recreational abuse of dogs and cats, yet the fishing column encourages cruelty to animals every bit as capable of feeling pain as any dog or cat.

If you’re not ready to cancel the fishing column, perhaps you can ask your publisher to move it to a more appropriate section of the paper — for example, the crime report or the obituaries, where it will blend right in.

Not surprisingly, none of the newspapers that received the letter have decided to eliminate their fishing column.

The odd thing about this letter is that, like others related to PETA’s Fish Empathy Project, it was signed by PETA’s Karin Robertson. Robertson generated a bit of publicity for PETA in 2003 when she claimed she had legally changed her name to GoVeg.Com. Shortly after the novelty effect and the publicity went away, however, she and PETA simply went back to using her previous name.

Apparently the name change was about as real as PETA’s claim that it doesn’t target children.


PETA opposes fishing column. Rockford Register Star, March 12, 2005.

PETA wants fishing columns deep-sixed. Bill Sargent, Florida Today, April 3, 2005.

Wait, Wait, Don’t Make Me Laugh

In early March, Bubba the lobster briefly made the news here in the United States. Bubba weighed in at 22 pounds and may have been 100 years old, though marine biologists said 30-50 is more likely. Originally caught in the Atlantic, Bubba ended up for sale in a tank in a market.

A movement to have Bubba spared from being a scrumptious stew arose, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals got in on the act. PETA’s Karin Robertson wrote in a letter to the market,

It would be a tragedy to end his long life by tormenting him in a pot of boiling water or by shoving him into a zoo aquarium to be gawked at in a tiny enclosure until he dies.

Alas, it was finally agreed that the Pittsburgh Zoo would take custody of Bubba. And Bubba promptly died the day after arriving at the zoo, where he was still in a quarantine area of the zoo’s aquarium while zoo officials examined him to see if he was healthy enough to be transferred to the aquarium.

But the horrors that Bubba had to endure were not over; not by a long shot. It seems that someone on National Public Radio managed to find some humor in Bubba’s life and death which did not go over well with Carolina Animal Action. Someone with that group posted a message to AR-NEWS urging activists to complain to NPR,

The National Public Radio Show “Wait, WaitÂ…DonÂ’t Tell Me” today ridiculed the death of Bubba the lobster. Their website is, e-mail address waitw… Info about Bubba is available at

Apparently someone from CAA was upset with this exchange,

Announcer: . . . he died of natural causes.

Male Voice: . . . and melted butter.

Announcer: That’s the question. My immediate reaction was: okay, the animal died, I’m sorry . . . can we eat him now?

Male Voice: I think somebody just managed to sidestep PETA’s request. Like, you know, oh we gave him a great tank, it just happened to be bubbling.

Truly tasteless. Such humor probably leads right into violence against animals and, ultimately, people.


Bubba the Leviathan Lobster Dies at Zoo. Associated Press, March 2, 2005.

Big Bubba, the lobster, saved from the pot. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bob Batz Jr. and Anita Srikameswaran, March 2, 2005.

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. March 5, 2005.