Friday, September 11, 2009

Fighting "Frog-O-Spheres"

Brookstone, the place people think of for pricey high-tech gadgets, recently got into – and at least in West Windsor, out of -- the business of selling frogs. Here’s the story, as reported in a local paper late last month.

The company was selling the “Frog-O-Sphere,” a popular item (doesn’t everyone shop for frogs at Brookstone?) that included “ two live aquatic African dwarf frogs, a snail and a bamboo plant all enclosed in a plastic see-through cube.”

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) had complained to the township’s health office about these sales, arguing, “Displaying and selling wildlife for profit is never in the best interest of the animals.” PETA reported receiving hundreds of complaints from Brookstone customers, who either (1) found that the frogs they’d bought were dead or dying within days of purchase, or (2) were “horrified” that live frogs were in proximity to remote controlled chairs and other gadgets.

(Blogger’s note: So the first group of complainers didn’t much care about the frogs bought in these circumstances except that they were dead or dying? And was the second group trying to say the frogs’ habitat [beyond the “Frog-O-Sphere”] should be . . . habitat, and not merchandise? Oh, well, any protest is better than none.)

So, lacking the required pet shop license, this Brookstone store has stopped selling frogs/“Frog-O-Spheres.” But there are more than 300 more of them across the US, and sales are reported to be brisk at the (licensed) Brookstone in Bridgewater.

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