Asian carp by any other name are still a threat


I must be traveling through another dimension. I’ve been beamed into a war zone where the Great Lakes are being threatened by approaching armies of Asian carp and there’s no agreement on how — or even if — the battle to prevent an ecosystem defeat.

But wait, I must have just entered the final frontier . . . a special place where all wisdom and answers rest . . . where no time is ever wasted on frivolous considerations . . . a chamber of the astute, better known as the state Senate of Minnesota . . . and they’ve passed a surefire way to solve the problem — just rename the fish.

Yes, the state Senate recently voted to rename the fish “invasive carp.” Senator John Hoffman, D-Champlin, spent time promoting the importance of his proposal, claiming the name Asian carp could be offensive to some people from Asian cultures.

Never mind the fact that these carp came from . . . let me guess, Asia? In fact, there is a long tradition of Asian carp in Chinese literature and culture. They’ve been cultivated in aquaculture in China, Vietnam and other Asian countries for more than 1,000 years. They’re the most important freshwater fish species for food and traditional Chinese medicine and are highly regarded as “domesticated Fish."

I ask you, aside from the waste of lawmakers’ time to consider important issues, how can they strip these carp of their Asian heritage? Don’t carp have rights, too? Why, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has always said fish have rights. Surprisingly, though, PETA has been silent on this one. It’s probably because PETA wants all fish to be renamed “sea kittens” anyway — their thinking is that no one would want to hook a sea kitten (I like mine deep-fried).

Actually, if truth be known, it’s probably because PETA is very distracted these days. It seems the house near Akron, Ohio, where serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer grew up and killed the first of his 17 victims is now up for sale. And, the wing nuts at PETA are proposing the house be turned into a vegan restaurant. (No, I can’t make this stuff up.)

Back in 1978, Dahmer killed and dismembered hitchhiker Steven Hicks in that house. He claimed to dine on flesh, then scattered the remains around the property. He was eventually convicted of 16 murders and sentenced to life in prison, where he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate in 1994.

No problem, according to PETA. They say the house could now become “the site of a celebration of culinary compassion.” (No, I told you, I can’t make this up).

Well, by now you know I haven’t been in another dimension. This stuff’s all real. I suppose I should have expected the Minnesota Senate to waste valuable time on such a preposterous issue. What can one expect from a state in which it takes more classroom time to become a licensed cosmetologist than to become a lawyer?

But the PETA people . . . well, if nothing else, we can always count on them to be as earnest as a Three Stooges pie fight.


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