be asking an innocent generation to payrna blood debt incurred in antiquity, andrnwe may irreversibly damage the fabricrnof the American ethic of equal opportunityrnby advocating the idea that who ournare is less important than what you are.rnBut Celtic-Americans should realizernthat tribal identity is the future in America,rnas indeed it may be throughout thernworld. The Cold War is over, and Americarnseems bound to drop its old habitsrnand join the NewWodd Order, histeadrnof believing in quaint notions of unifyingrnAmericanness, the United States is set tornlook in the coming century toward otherrncountries that it may be destined to resemble,rnsuch as Lebanon, Yugoslavia,rnand the former Soviet republics. It’srntime for the slumbering tribes to wakernup and face the future, which is unfoldingrnbefore our disbelieving eyes.rnT. Padrciig Higgins is a litigationrnattorney in New York City.rnLetter FromrnEnglandrnby Christie DaviesrnFish RightsrnAnimal rights protesters in Britain havernnow extended their campaign of sabotagernto fishing. Members of the newrnCampaign for the Abolition of Angling,rnwith its headquarters in Sevenoaks inrnKent, have taken to disrupting anglingrnmatches by stirring the water with bamboorncanes and banging dustbin lids underrnwater to drive the fish away. “Fhcyrnhave even put on diving suits and swumrnunderwater to make faces at the fish andrnfrighten them awa}’ from the anglers.rnThey are demanding that the governmentrnimpose new legal restrictions onrnanglers, including a compulsory writtenrnexamination before a fishing license isrngranted, a ban on the use of live bait, andrnno fishing by children under 12 unlessrnsupervised by an adult, hi the long runrntheir even more militant successors willrnwant fishing banned altogether, a viewrnthat will be strongly supported by thernproducers of lake and river pollution andrnacid rain.rnThey are not alone in their indignation,rnfor many sensitive British animalrnlovers have long been appalled at therncallous anglers’ disregard for the sufferingsrnof fish and the brutalit with whichrnfishermen regulariy inflict all manner ofrncruelty and humiliation on our finnyrnfriends. They are partieulady revolted byrnthe popularity in Britain of the so-calledrnsport of competitive fishing. Every weekendrnin England the shores and banks ofrnlakes, rivers, and canals are lined withrngrim-faced men holding poles and wearingrnrubber boots hued according to socialrnclass: green for the gentry, black forrnthe plebeians. The more audaciousrnamong them even don drizzleproof hatsrnand waders and, abandoning the terrestrialrnlife for which man was designed,rnmount an unnatural invasion of the waters,rncreated specifically for the use of thernfish and other sea creatures excused arntrip in Noah’s Ark. “Can it really bernright,” the anti-anglers ask, “for men tornenter the sacred river and the .sinless searnin this way?”rnThe most militant among them arguernthat, even if we ignore the indignitiesrninflicted on impaled worms and therndeceit invol-ed in the use of a lure or arnsynthetic gleaming fly, fishing is eleariy arnmorally repellent activity. There can bernfew ceremonial killings worse than thatrnwhich succeeds the coarse shout of “arnbite, a bite” along the shores of a normallyrnpeaceful stretch of water. Not forrnthe hapless fish the quick death by bulletrnor shot of the grouse or stalked stag,rnnor the chance to make one last run forrnit granted to the fox, but the long agonyrnof fighting against the hook. “I low manyrnanglers,” demand the militant antifishers,rn”would like to be forced to sprintrnup and down the bank trying to freernthemselves from a person-hook baitedrnwith a cigarette or a piece of chewingrngum b}- a cunning shark?”rnWhen finally the helpless fish is landedrnit is left to flop, gasp, and drown in anrnair its fluttering gills cannot breath, orrnelse it is trapped in a net more constrainingrnthan any cage. Later it may berncooked alive at the whim of a gourmet orrncast aside to become a tid-bit for somerncomplacent fishy-whiskered pussycat. Ifrnthe fish is especially large its corpse mayrneven be preserved in a glass case stuckrnabove a grimy “real-ale” bar with a noternof its dimensions, not as a tribute to arngallant fish, but to support the boasts ofrnthe cruel and mendacious anglers. Thisrnis the horrid reality behind the sentimentalrnand heroic tales churned out byrnicthyaphobes from Izaak Walton tornErnest Hemingway, which have everrnserved to reproduce the bigoted ideologyrnof atmosphere-breathers’ supremacy.rn”If fish could read,” say the anti-anjlers,rn”it would take their breath away.”rnThe public conscience of much of thernrest of Europe, and especially of those regionsrnwhere there is nowhere to fish, hasrnalso been revolted by the gross inequalityrnbetween the beings of land and waterrnpracticed in Britain. A strong movementrnfor the rights of fishes has long beenrngathering force in the European Community,rnand Britain may well be facedrnwith having to defend itself in a varietyrnof Euro-courts against law suits broughtrnby determined fish-lovers. Indeed, thernradical Franciscan exponent of liberationrntheology, Amato Calamari (whoserncriticisms of Saint Peter caused so muchrncontroversy last vear), has recently denouncedrnthe English as “not Angles, notrnangels, but anglers” and called for a boycottrnof Cornish pilchards.rnMore ominous still are the activities ofrnthe violent Hsh liberation front in France,rnwhich has been snipping anglers’ linesrnwith scissors and easting so much breadrnupon the waters that the sated fish ignorernthe beguiling baits held out by thernrod-wielders. Fishmongers’ shops havernbeen daubed with the slogan “Poissonierrn= Poison,” and there are fears that thisrnnew militancy could lead to the criminalrncontamination of tins of snoek. Ofrncourse most genuine fish activists deplorernthe use of violence and indeed seernthe brutality of the present wodd as arnmere extension of unrestrained piscatorialrnaggression. Nonetheless there arernmany who feel that only in this way canrnthe rights and liberties of fishes be attainedrnand the dignity of aquatic creaturesrneverywhere upheld. Right now 1rnwould not care to be in the shoes of thernfishermen.rnChristie Davies is chairman of thernsociology department at the Universityrnof Reading, England.rn42/CHRONICLESrnrnrn