Late last week, Josh Alper told you of the Florida Marlins' plans to install two enormous saltwater aquariums in the backstop at the team's new ballpark, which is set to open in 2012.
The Marlins announced their plans to have the dual tanks, complete with coral and sea life native to South Florida, last Thursday, and, predictably, it took animal rights activists under a week to criticize the proposal.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter to Florida owner Jeffrey Loria, according to the Miami Herald, in which they objected to the proposed aquariums and offered "cruelty-free alternatives."
From the Herald:
"Being exposed to the loud crowds, bright lights, and reverberations of a baseball stadium would be stressful and maddening for any large animals held captive in tanks that, to them, are like bathtubs," wrote PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman in the letter to Loria. ...The Marlins, for their part, do not appear to have any plans to change course.
PETA said the Marlins should explore alternatives, such as "artist-designed aquariums full of beautiful blown-glass animals," "high-definition plasma screens showing underwater footage of sea animals," and even "robotic fish that can 'swim' through water."
"I hope to hear that you have decided to leave fish in the ocean where they belong," Reiman wrote.
Said team president David Samson, in the very same Herald piece: "I guess that's a philosophical issue, but there are beautiful aquariums all over the world and this will be one of them. ... I can assure you the fish will be treated as well, or better, than any fish can be."