Written by Michelle Kretzer
Sometimes, even compassionate people seem to
disregard fish. I know: I was one of them. Years after I stopped eating meat, I
identified as a vegetarian but would still have a little sushi. It was a long
time before I realized—thanks to PETA—that fish are sentient beings who
feel pain acutely and struggle against death. Perhaps a few other people are
having their own "aha" moment right now, thanks to PETA Germany's recent victory
Acting on a tip, two PETA Germany
investigators joined some tourists on a crab fishing boat operating along the northern coast.
The crab fishing itself wasn't illegal, but the way the anglers were tormenting
was. Under German law, fish must be instantly killed or placed in water after
being caught. But these anglers were catching several fish in their crab traps
and leaving the unwanted animals to asphyxiate to death on the boat. They even
laughed about the animals' struggle to breathe before they died.
The investigators shot video evidence and began
throwing suffering fish back into the water. Then they filed a complaint with
the Hamburg District Attorney's Office, and the court slapped the owner of the boat
with a fine of 400 euros (about $540). He and his crew will likely be taking
fish protection laws more seriously now.
If you know someone who claims, "I'm a vegetarian, but
I still eat fish," perhaps you can mention this story as a way of
illustrating that fish
feel pain and, like every other animal, deserve to be free from suffering.
Hundreds of bass were crammed into tanks
inside a truck traveling through Irvine, California, bound for the market. They
never made it. The truck flipped over, cracking the tanks, and when
firefighters opened the doors, the fish spilled out onto the roadway. Those who were not already dead from their injuries or lack of oxygen suffocated
on the pavement.
Had the accident claimed human lives, it
wouldn't have been surprising to see a memorial erected for the victims. So,
because fish feel pain, value their lives, and don't want to die, just like human beings, PETA has
requested that Irvine allow us to place a sign at the accident site in their
Fish are intelligent animals who have impressive long-term memories and develop complex social structures. They use tools, tell time, count, and
enjoy singing. But fish killed for food are typically either cut open and gutted alive or
suffocated to death.
The best way for people to keep fish
from suffering is to stop
eating them. But erecting a memorial that reminds the drivers who haul them to be careful
with the lives that they hold in their hands seems like the least that we can
Written by Jeff Mackey
A trio of PETA mermaids came ashore at San Francisco's
Fisherman's Wharf to remind everyone that "seafood" comes from animals who feel pain and suffer when they're netted or impaled and
pulled into an environment in which they can't breathe. After all, who would
know better than these hybrid lovelies that fish, lobsters, and other sea-dwellers feel
pain and want to live—just as the rest of us do.
What You Can Do
Cut the line on cruel seafood and make vegan fare the catch of the day instead!
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
I was in a sandwich shop getting lunch the
other day when I noticed something wrong with the fish tank in the
back. No bubbles! A powerful storm had downed trees four days earlier and
knocked out power to 2 million people, but most businesses, including the
sandwich shop, were open again. But the tank's filter and aerator had
stopped working, the water was murky and yellow, and the water level was down
as a result of evaporation in the heat. I stared at the fish, and they
stared at me. Fiddling with
the equipment, even turning the breaker switches on and off, had no effect. It
took a couple of hours to find a tropical-fish store that was open, get a new
aerator and filter, and add about 20 gallons of filtered water to the tank, but
at last, the fish stopped gasping.
There are many reasons not to keep fish in a
tank, but in summer and winter, with increased storm activity, anyone with an
aquarium needs to be prepared
for a power outage. If you have an aquarium, assemble an emergency kit today—you may not be able to get what you need before or after the storm
because stores may be closed or have run out of supplies. Even if you don't
have a tank, please read these tips so that you can share them with someone you
know who keeps fish:
jelene|cc by 2.0
Make sure that the water is aerated. If
you have not prepared by getting a battery-operated air pump, you may be able
to save the fish by changing the water (do not introduce untreated tap water),
or just remove some of the water from the tank and pour it back in again to
During winter outages, wrap the tank in Mylar
blankets and monitor the temperature. During summer outages, move the tank to a
dark spot or otherwise shield it from direct light if possible, which reduces
stress and heat. Check the temperature, and if it gets too warm, replace the
water with slightly cooler water if you can.
Fish are smart, interesting individuals who naturally
live in streams, rivers, and the ocean, not in a water-filled box that keeps
them hovering in a diluted mixture of their own waste and rotting food. It's
like making your cat live inside a sealed, unchanged litterbox.
And what is there for them to do? In nature,
they explore, have friends (yes, there are lots of studies about this), and
enjoy the seasons, seeking a mate and raising young. In other words, they
have a life. Thinking it's OK to use them as cute decorations is to hold an archaic
view of nature, as if it's OK to dominate and use animals as a commodity rather
than respecting them for their individuality and their right to live their own
not a fish tale—PETA's persuasive Freeda Fish paraded down a Pensacola pier
asking hookers to quit the business.
the hooking they were doing might not have been illegal, it certainly wasn't very nice to fish, so Freeda made sure that
the fresh catch of this day was the insight that fish are friends, not food.
Marlins swing into the regular season in a new ballpark, opening tonight, featuring engraved pavement stones in the East Plaza, one of which reads:
As you may have detected, the first letters of the words in
this message spell out "FishingHurts.com," a Web address that brings up a page on PETA's website about the cruelty involved in
fishing and the reasons to give fish a break. Yep, it's a hidden message placed by PETA—after all, when animals'
lives are on the line (pun intended), why limit attention-getting pranks about fish to April Fools' Day?
Marlins are a species of fish. And they, like all fish, are much
more beautiful alive and swimming in the ocean than on a menu.
Fish (including marlins) feel pain, and they suffer when they're caught on a hook or in a net and dragged into an
environment in which they can't breathe. It's much better to choose
cruelty-free activities instead—like, say, watching a baseball game.
When officials in a New Jersey city drained most of a park
pond to dredge the
sides, workers drained too much water, and numerous fish
were stranded on the banks and suffocated. The fish who survived were huddled in
shallow pools that were nearly frozen and were trying to stay alive in the
PETA's phone lines lit up like a
Christmas tree, and we sprang into action. We alerted city officials to the tragic
situation, asking for more water to be added to the pond, and sent out an action alert
to our supporters, who bombarded officials with pleas to save the fish. Within 24
hours, the pond was being refilled, and the surviving fish could breathe a
Time and time again, animals' lives have
been saved because PETA members like you demanded action. Thank you. And if you
haven't joined our e-mail list yet, please do so today.
sounds like the plot of a Disney movie, but this video of a pig and dog who are best buds
would warm even Walt's
cryogenically frozen heart.
mind me." After committing the most adorable case of breaking and entering
ever, a baby seal curled up on a New Zealand woman's couch for a
you do a good "fish face"? These people are spot-on. … Or are
the fish doing a spot-on "human face"?
you like an awkward conversation about the facts of life with that? A 7-year-old
girl and her mother allegedly discovered a condom in the child's McDonald's Happy Meal.
about a return on your investment: Eight years after she went missing, a dog is going home to her family, thanks
to a tiny, inexpensive microchip.
a chicken named Liberty, dubbed Britain's "last battery hen" is
headed home too. She will enjoy retirement on a farm with other hens who were formerly
confined to battery cages
as the U.K.'s ban on the cruel confinement system goes into effect for the new
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
new year is already looking a bit brighter for animals: A PETCO store in Dickson City,
has announced that it will close permanently on January 1—which is great news
for the hamsters, gerbils, mice, fish, and other small animals who suffer and
die every day in PETCO's stores and suppliers' facilities.
for the animals PETCO sells often consists of struggling to survive wild capture
or captive breeding in horrific conditions, suffering from untreated injuries
and illnesses, and fighting for food in feces-strewn, severely crowded cages.
At the massive breeding mills that supply live animals to the pet trade, PETA
investigations have revealed sick and dying animals placed in freezers to die,
live hamsters placed in a plastic bag and bashed against a table in an attempt to kill them, animals deprived
of veterinary care and left to cannibalize their cagemates' corpses,
and other horrors.
For the sake of small animals, please say "No"
to PETCO and other stores that sell animals.
into Grand Theft Auto? These brainy birds steal windshield wiper blades for
reasons known only to themselves, although having fun with them might be the
Ravens seem more interested in
studying sign language. Like primates and humans, the birds use gestures to communicate—in
this case, pointing with their beaks.
have bird brains (read "big brains") too. Some octopuses in captivity make toys and games out
of items in their tanks. Some let the people they like stroke their heads,
while a person on an octopus's bad side may get squirted.
the calming effects of touch, too, but not from people. They will allow small fish
who work as full-time cleaners to nibble at their scales even when they don't
have parasites because they like the gentle massage.
Dogs, of course, love affection from
people, and their devotion to their guardians doesn't usually fade when that
guardian passes away. A faithful
in China refuses to leave his guardian's grave, and the townspeople plan to
build a doghouse there for the grieving canine.
After being stolen from his home, held
for five years, and then apparently dumped after he developed a medical
problem, a precocious pup
who loves to travel hopped on a bus. When he was spotted by the driver and
taken to a vet, his microchip guaranteed that the
next trip he took was back home to his family.
Another clever canine is a hero
after she grabbed a bag of kittens someone had tossed onto the highway, pulled
it off the road, dragged it home, and cried until her guardian opened it.
Resourceful deer, raccoons, blue herons, and
other animals have figured out how to safely cross the road
(without instructions from chickens).
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.