PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is urging former President Jimmy Carter to stop fishing after he recently told the story of being accidentally hooked in the face during an angling outing.
On one of its websites, FishingHurts.com, PETA says that during an appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” Carter described the accident.
“His painful ordeal ended when his bodyguard stood on his chest and yanked the embedded lure from his face – the agony and fear that he felt are quite familiar to any fish who has been hooked on a fisher’s line,” PETA said.
The animal-rights group claims fish are intelligent creatures who feel pain, “and we expect that a compassionate world leader like President Carter will agree that they deserve to live in peace.”
Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
According to Reuters, PETA faxed a letter yesterday to Carter’s nonprofit Carter Center appealing to him to give up fishing.
A Carter Center spokesman told the new service the center does not comment on Carter’s private correspondence.
The hook incident wasn’t the first fishing horror endured by Carter. In 1979, he claimed that during a fishing trip in April of that year he was attacked by a “killer rabbit” and was forced to beat back the animal with a canoe paddle. The president later laughed off the report, saying it was the creation of a group of White House reporters and staff members after a Saturday night of socializing.
Concluded PETA: “We hope that President Carter will make his next foray into the great outdoors without any deadly weapons.”