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.
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.