Mar 31, 2011 at 12:54 PM
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PETA's Proposal To VA: Rename Troutville Rest Area To "Fishing Hurts" Rest Area

Virginia-based PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has never been shy about using sponsorship (or the PR around a proposal) to get their message out. PETA has sent a proposal to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) offering to sponsor the Troutville, Virginia Safety Rest Area in return for permission to change the location's name to the "Fishing Hurts" Rest Area. PETA's offer comes on the heels of our report that VDOT is selling the rights to sponsor its 42 rest stops and welcome centers because of a budget crunch.

"Our offer is a win-win solution: VDOT will net itself a paying sponsor, and motorists will learn that trout and other fish deserve compassion," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "The 'Fishing Hurts' Rest Area would make it clear that maiming and killing fish with hooks is a cruel, violent act."

PETA's proposal looks to take full advantage of VDOT's plan to let sponsors manage the vending operations at each rest stop. PETA's proposal calls for the "Fishing Hurts" Rest Area to feature displays about fish intelligence, the pain caused by fishing, and the harm done to water birds and other aquatic life who become entangled in fishing line and ingest lost and discarded bobs and hooks. Vending machines would dispense plush Sammy the Sea Kitten toys, which would teach children to have empathy for fish by comparing them to the kittens whom many of us are more familiar with. PETA says it would also consider stocking the vending machines with "delicious vegan faux-fish sticks (made of healthy plant protein and spices) and other healthy fish-free snacks."

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