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PETA wants to fund a bridge

Just when we think there isnít much to laugh at in the news these days, we can always count on the wing nuts at PETA for a gut-buster. PETA — thatís the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as opposed to People Eating Tasty Animals — has offered to pop for $15 million to save a 2.6 mile bridge that spans Tampa Bay.

Iím talking about a former car-traffic bridge that, after being replaced with an adjacent new span, was reopened more than 10 years ago as a prime fishing-cycling-running ribbon of concrete over the water and was renamed the Friendship Trail Bridge. The converted 53-year-old bridge reportedly attracted more than 600,000 visitors annually, including lots of anglers who could hook into everything from tarpon to snook below the span. Special fishing areas were created all along the Trail.

But, it seems the old bridge has suffered from age and structural corrosion and had to be closed down a year ago to the disappointment of many.† Itís been determined that it will take $15 million to safely breathe an estimated 10 years of additional life into the old span. In todayís economy, funds to bring back the county-owned bridge arenít available, unless some one could, perhaps, find a way to tap into the federal Porkulus Bill.

But wait! All is not lost. Here comes those furry fanatics at PETA to the rescue. Yes, Iím talking about the same PETA that raised a stink when President Obama swatted a fly (a darn cool move if you ask me) during a TV interview. After all, flies have rights too, donít ya know?

PETA reportedly has offered to ďcontribute the funds necessary to keep this community treasure open.Ē Thatís $15 million to save the Friendship Trail Bridge. Oh, but there are just a couple of conditions:

First, the bridge must be renamed the Sea Kitten Memorial Trail Bridge to ďencourage children to think of fish as Ďsea kittens.íĒ Itís true, PETA has been pushing the idea of getting the world to rename all fish ďsea kittensĒ because, they contend, people see kittens as soft furry animals and will be less likely to hurt them by fishing for them! (No, Iím not kidding, thatís PETAís goal!)

Second condition: Ban fishing from the bridge.

The offer was reportedly made to a save-the-bridge citizens group called the Friendship Trail Corporation. Its executive director, Frank Miller indicates his groupís position is simple — thanks but no thanks!

Now, I donít believe PETA would actually come up with the $15 million anyway. Itís a wacko organization that told the Iowa State Fair it should not use butter (use a non dairy spread) for a planned Michael Jackson sculpture. I suppose the thinking there was that some cow would feel violated!

So, while youíre enjoying your deep fried sea kitten sandwich, take a look at todayís How I Discovered Boating video:†


21 comments on “PETA wants to fund a bridge

  1. Paul Elsken

    I’ve been fishing off that bridge for sea kittens and man are they delicious! That bridge is primarily a fishing bridge and the fact that PETA sticks their nose in just shows how rediculous and out of step that organisation is. How about we have a sea kitten fry to raise money for the repairs?

  2. Marilyn DeMartini

    Thanks for the good laugh! Thank goodness the Friendship Trail Corp. was quick enough to state a simple and logical response. I hope they find a new fishing ground so all the fishing fans can maintain their leisure sport! Next thing you know someone will want sea kittens spayed!

  3. Sunshine State

    Anything regarding PETA deserves a cautious approach.Norm,your caustic tone is of no help and just as distateful as passgaes from PETA and the like. The state of Florida has not faced serious knock down,drag out “anti” fish & hunt episodes for many reasons.
    Why not work on uplifting the environmental ethic fisher folk and hunters once were proudly identified with.

  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunshine State, I couldn’t agree more. Now, I’m NO fan of PETA by any means. BUT…deliberately antagonizing them is not a good idea and the derogatory nature of the article does put a stain on boaters and sportsmen alike. So knock it off Norm. Feel free to report on news like this, but maintain a higher standard with your writing and make sure that our industry always takes the higher road.

  5. lauderdalefisherman

    Come on Sunny Side Up and Sunshine State, Norm’s article didn’t have a caustic tone, it just sounds that way when you read it because of the rediculousness of what PETA wanted to do. No need to mock PETA, they speak for themselves.

  6. Bill Blackman

    Good going Norm. The sunshine twins need to lighten up(and go fishing!). What’s wrong with telling it like it is?

  7. C. John Madison

    Norm i’m glad you still call it the way you see it. I think the so called “high road” is often way to political for regular boaters like us. You didn’t administer all those successful boat shows talking out of both sides of your mourh. Keep up the great articles.

  8. Jim

    Cautious approach to peta; antagonizing them–are you two serious? Far out wacko organizations like that deserve nothing but our disdain. It is plain to anyone with half a brain that they only exist because they have nothing better to do with their money. The response was proper and exactly what peta needed to hear.

  9. arch

    SUNSHINE STATE and SUNNYSIDE UP……are you kidding me?
    Dorry worry Norm, 95% of us love the article and agree with you. You can’t please everyone all the time. Keep doing what you are doing.
    Peta is a joke. Here is proof…an ad with Ronald McDonald holding a knife, ad targeted to kids.

  10. Sunny Side Up

    We weren’t asking anyone to actually take PETA seriously. They ARE a ridiculous organization with a bunch of leaders and members who are clearly off their rockers. BUT…as an avid fisherman who’s extraordinarily irritated with the recent grouper (and other species) closures that have no apparent base in scientific evidence, I don’t want to give these people any ideas about further stirring the pot in Tallahassee. Articles like these (although this one has very minimal circulation) have a nasty tendency to poke a sharp stick at left wing organizations who love to do nothing more than make life miserable for the rest of us.

  11. Sunshine State

    Over the years I have discovered many marine industry persons are actually not very knowledgeable about complex conservation issues.There is a leaning towards focusing only on the “antis”.

  12. Jim

    Ok sunshine; how about you take all the complexities out of these issues and explain them to us commoners. We would so appreciate being enlightened by your vast understanding of these hard to understand issues. Thanks very much.

  13. AnonymousBob

    I’d say you stooped to PETA’s level with the sarcastic tone of this blog. I agree with Sunshine State and Sunnyside Up that your “giving them the finger” tone doesn’t progress legitimate conservation issues one bit. Pandering to a certain base scores you some points, of course; however, you also alienate another bit of your constituency that takes conservation to heart.
    Yes, I know this reply sounds PC and it is – I make no apologies. If I want juvenile rants or blogs, I’ll find them elsewhere. My goal for reading your blog is to gain additional insight into the Marine industry, get market thoughts from an insider, tap into your network, and add to my information base in our suffering industry. To see this type of post reminds me that spouting off, while feeling good to get things off your chest, is best left to a private conversation.

  14. arch

    After kicking Sunshine and Sunny in the shin, you will be surprised to know I somewhat agree with Anonymous Bob. Here is the difference though….
    I KNOW NORM DOESN”T DO THIS ALL THE TIME. If he did, I would tire of it and stop reading for all the same reasons Bob mentions. But I know that Norm isn’t against conservation and I know he is for the ethical treatment of animals, just not to the extreme that PETA endorses.
    One might have made the assumption after my comments to those 2 and attack on PETA that I was not a conservationist. That would incorrect. I don’t keep the fish I catch. I’ve never shot an animal. I volunteer for and donate money to conservation groups. I even check the boxes on gov’t forms that collect dollars for different conservation groups.
    So, after reading your article, I didn’t take your attack against PETA as a knock on conservation or the environment, I took it as a knock on PETA, exactly as it was intended.

  15. GKA

    Question – What is it with you guys and PETA? Is it your contention that animals don’t feel pain? Or, is it that that do feel pain but it doesn’t matter? PETA uses high-profile stunts to get attention – sort of like politicians, the NMMA and everyone else. The fact is you need publicity for any cause. It does not mean the cause isn’t worthwhile. Not all that long ago the townsfolk would all turn out to watch a public disemboweling. I’m sure there were plenty of people then condemned those who thought is was wrong.

    Like it or not, you are member of the planet earth just like all living things. Why not have a reasonable dialogue about how to create less pain for everyone. To want to have the discussion doesn’t make you a nut, crazy, kooky or anything else – hopefully, it makes you human.

  16. Sunny Side Up

    GKA, What channel are you watching?
    No one said anything about animals feeling pain or other “high profile stunts”.
    The point is PETA’s desire to change the name of fish to “sea kittens”. That’s where everyone is getting irritated at PETA. Closing the bridge to fishing is just icing on the cake…everyone knows it will never happen.

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