Have you ever not known whether to laugh or cry at something? While reading the Wall Street Journal about five days ago, that feeling cropped up when I noticed a ridiculous animal rights story.
In Switzerland, a small-town newspaper ran a photo of a local man who had caught a 22-lb. pike. It was the quintessential "man holding fish" photo that so many of us have seen.
While most enjoyed the article, one man in particular took issue with it. Antoine Goetschel, a Swiss attorney, decided to sue the fisherman. Goetschel, acting on behalf of the deceased fish, believed it was his obligation to defend the fish's dignity.
Since I was waiting for a plane, I suppressed my laughter in the midst of a busy airport. Then my heart began to sink. Even though I thought it was funny, the Wall Street Journal obviously felt it was interesting enough to include the story on its front page. Plus, Goetschel, and other animal rights groups, were obviously taking this seriously.
Thinking of all the frivolous lawsuits filed in the U.S. each year, I had a serious "Oh my!" moment.
Before I started writing this blog, I went to Google to check back on the status of Goetschel and his animal defense campaign. It seems the Swiss government put the idea of attorneys for animals to a vote. The Swiss defeated it with more than 80% of the vote.
Knowing they thought it was as silly as I did, I can finally resume my hearty laughter at such a ridiculous proposition.
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