The activist animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked school officials to change the name of Spearfish High School to "Sea Kitten High School." The new name would "reflect the gentle nature of its current marine namesake," the organization said in a letter to Steve Morford, Spearfish High School principal.
PETA said the letter is part of a new Sea Kitten campaign aimed at children.
If children were taught to refer to fish as "sea kittens," reflecting that fish, like cats and dogs, are "individuals" that "do have friendships," fewer fish might be killed for food or sport, said Pulin Modi, a PETA spokesman.
"We want people to realize that more fish are killed each year than all animals combined," he said. "They don't have the sympathy of more popular animals like cats and dogs."
Morford said he did not want to share his feelings about PETA. "Obviously, it's nothing we're taking seriously," he said.