PETA demands astronomers quit referring to Sirius as `Dog Star'
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is now taking its quest to protect animals' rights and save them from dinner plates to a whole new world.
That's because PETA has now filed a formal petition with the International Astronomical Union requesting it issue the star Sirius a new nickname.
The star, the second-brightest star in the sky after the sun, has long been called "The Dog Star" due to its location in the constellation Canis Major, or Big Dog.
"We believe it's degrading to Dachshunds, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers and other dogs to have their name flippantly used like this," said television personality Ricki Lake, a longtime PETA member. "This is unacceptable. We hope someday to give animals not only full rights, but also to extend that protection should human beings ever colonize planets in this solar system or in others."
Instead, Lake added, PETA proposes the IAU issue Sirius the nickname "The No-Nonsense Star" since its name is often mispronounced "serious".
The IAU, which meets later this summer, had no immediate comment.
Lake also told Ponderings from Pluto that PETA would also like the IAU to change other astronomical names that exploit animals (besides Canis Major, the Leo, Taurus and Pisces constellations).