Watch Animal Rights Activist Harass Fishermen, Throw Fish Back in Water

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Nothing is as relaxing as a day spent fishing with your family...that is until a group of animal rights activists starts yelling at you.

A video that has now gone viral shows members from the group Direct Action Everywhere confronting Bob Hope and his family as they fish in Crescent Lake Park in St. Petersburg, Florida. They even went so far as to throw a tilapia one of the family members caught back into the lake.  

In the video, you see a fish flapping around on the cement, while one of the fishermen puts a fresh piece of bait on a hook.

A 9-year-old boy walks up and asks the fisherman, “Do you know fish feel pain?”

He continues, “When you hook them in the mouth, it really hurts them."

One of the fisherman responds, “OK.” And, the boy asks them to please stop fishing.

Mike Leaming, who is identified as the boy’s father then approaches the anglers and confronts them about the evils of fishing, claiming "fishing causes pain to other beings." He even asks, "If you wouldn't kill a child, then why would you kill a fish?"

You can hear the animal rights group chanting in the background, "It's not food, it's violence."

Kayla Leaming, the boy's mother, claims the "grown men were awfully hostile to my 9-year-old son, shooed him away and laughed in his face."

Hope said the group had no right harassing his family, especially with his toddler around. 

The anglers and animal rights activists argued back and forth for some time. You can see more of the confrontation here. Tired of the harassment, the fishermen said they were calling the police. Mike Leaming fired back, “Call the police! I just saved a fish’s life, how about that? How about that?”

Hope called the St. Petersburg police but the group was gone by the time officers arrived. Police said they could not make an arrest.

Reports say the same animal rights group swept through Pinellas County earlier last week causing a scene at a Chick-fil-A.

Hope said of the harassment, "This is not right to do to citizens who are practicing their rights, who are doing nothing wrong."

Kayla Leaming said she will continue to defend the fish.

"A lot of people don't seem to care about the fish, but we do.  Fish feel pain just like we do."

What would you do if you were harassed by animal rights activists while hunting or fishing? 

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