Written by PETA
Brrr! A cold spell
has gripped us here in Los Angeles, with night temperatures dipping down into
the 50s—much too cold for Angelenos … and for goldfish.
When the guardians of one rescued goldfish, Sadie, turned on her tank's water
heater this week, she immediately swam over to bask in the warmth, just like a
kitten seeking a sunny patch or a dog seeking a place by the fire.
A sympathetic PetSmart
employee rescued Sadie when she was deemed "valueless" because of a
genetic defect. She was born with one eye—likely caused by overbreeding, a
practice that is rampant in the hideous "pet" trade.
The employee, an aquatic animals expert who cautions that caring for fish
requires expensive equipment and frequent tank cleanings, subsequently left PetSmart
in protest over the way the retailer treats animals as if they were commodities
rather than recognizing that they are feeling individuals.
support companies such as PetSmart that put profit first—at the animals'
expense. Reputable local rescue groups and shelters
often have fish who need new homes. If you or someone you know has aquatic animals,
please also constantly check to be sure that the water temperature is in the
proper range for the animal during winter months. After all, they can't dust
off their spare blankets or snuggle up with a friend
for the night.
by Heather Faraid Drennan
Do you know what
you're seeing when you look at seafood? It seems that most of us don't. When Consumer Reports
tested 190 different samples of fish from restaurants and stores, they found
that more than 20 percent were being marketed as something other than what they
actually were. A similar investigation by the Boston Globe found that as much as 48 percent of fish flesh is mislabeled.
will no doubt dismay people who try to
buy only species of fish that they think are sustainable. But "sustainable"
is simply a marketing buzzword that the seafood industry likes to use. Eating any
fish at all contributes to the decimation of the ocean's ecosystem.
© Alaska Fisheries Science Center
The massive nets
and long-lines used by factory
are indiscriminate in what types of fish they catch, and fishers simply toss
overboard the dead or dying dolphins, sea turtles, and other "bycatch"
they don't want. Farmed
such as salmon and sea bass are often carnivorous, so many pounds of wild fish
must be caught to feed those on farms.
the label on the package matches the fish under the cellophane, one thing we
can be sure of is that the flesh we are eating came from an intelligent animal with a
who did not want to be gutted
alive or suffocated.
If we can eat faux fish, such as Vegieworld's codfish,
that tastes the same, is free of harmful toxins like mercury
and PCBs, and doesn't claim any animals' lives, why not?
an animal fact that is not at all surprising if you've ever seen a hawk soar
through the sky or a flock of pigeons settling in to roost together for the
night: Caged birds suffer from a severe
form of post-traumatic stress disorder and exhibit symptoms identical to those
of prisoners of war and concentration camp survivors, including self-mutilation
and persistent sadness. Even when they are rescued and taken to reputable
sanctuaries, parrots, cockatoos, and
macaws—who in the wild are extremely social—sometimes are never able to adjust
to socializing with other birds and opt to remain alone, staring into space. So
please don't patronize pet stores that sell birds into a prison sentence from
which they may never recover, even if they are lucky enough to be "paroled."
Eliya | cc by 2.0
it was crickets who inspired Miguel de Cervantes'
famously chivalrous, albeit inept, character Don Quixote. Researchers have found
that male crickets graciously allow their mates to enter the burrow first—although this leaves the
well-intentioned males more vulnerable to predation, sometimes with tragic
results. (Another interesting note from the study is that observing animals in
their natural environment, rather than studying them in labs, provides more accurate
admit … while writing this, I had to look up what an anvil is, but a type of
wrasse known as the orange
dotted tusk fish knows precisely how an
anvil works. An evolutionary biologist at the Great Barrier Reef filmed a wrasse who carried a
clam some distance, then repeatedly threw the clam at a rock to break open the
shell. The scientist points out that this behavior shows that fish are capable
of thinking ahead and reasoning. (All the more reason not to eat them.)
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
witnessing an ear-splitting dance party at the Georgia Aquarium to kick off Atlanta
Pride festivities, PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews sent a letter to the
aquarium's president and COO David
Kimmel to set the record straight about how this kind of audio torture
of animals is not only inappropriate but also likely a violation of Georgia's
knowledge that music and other noises at this volume are profoundly distressing
to, at the very least, the belugas and the animals they attack when this stress
and frustration manifests itself as aggression … the aquarium continues to willfully
subject the animals in its care to excessive noise during planned events.
described his experience at the prison aquarium in detail in a Huffington Post blog post, noting that belugas have a sophisticated
sonar system that helps them navigate the arctic waters in which they swim
thousands of miles every year in large, social groups. In captivity, the sonar
bounces off tank walls, frustrating the animals. Dan spoke (or rather, shouted)
with a tour guide who acknowledged that during high-volume events, the male
belugas start to attack the harbor seals with whom they share a tank.
© Dave Riganelli/ iStockphoto.com
PETA friend and gay rights supporter Martina Navratilova heard that Atlanta Pride held an event at the
aquarium, she told Dan, "I cringe at any zoo or a theme park/aquarium with
captive animals. But the big ones, whales, dolphins, giraffes, elephants, etc.,
the big cats—they make me cry."
can help the animals affected by this event by contacting the Georgia Aquarium to ask
that it implement a policy immediately that would allow only soft ambient or
classical music at events. After all, it's not as though the animals don't have
enough stress already by being held captive in a tank that—to them—is the size
of a bathtub.
by Heather Faraid Drennan
Forty-thousand young salmon are swimming free in San Francisco Bay
this week after someone cut the netting of their cramped holding pens.
© Robert Koopmans | iStockphoto.com
The salmon were being held in 25-foot-by-16-foot-by-8-foot pens, and with 20,000 to a
pen, this means that there were more
than six 10-inch fish per cubic foot. Fish kept in such crowded conditions
often suffer from severe injuries, and in such filthy conditions they are also susceptible
to parasites that can eat their faces down to the bone. On fish farms,
as many as 40 percent of the fish die before they are even scheduled for
Farming salmon—for commercial use or for enhanced
angling opportunities—also depletes the ocean of other fish. It can take more
than 5 pounds of ocean fish to
produce just 1 pound of salmon.
Do fish a favor, and leave them in the water where
they belong. Enjoy a day on a boat or hiking near a creek without hurting
animals, and leave fish off your plate with delicious faux-seafood recipes.
In just three months, 180 sea lions and
seals off the coast of Canada have lost their lives because they had the
audacity to eat fish that farmers wanted to kill themselves. Many were shot by Canadian
fish farmers, who are allowed
to shoot animals who try to
scoop a fish or two out of massive ocean-based aquafarms.
The rest died from drowning when they became entangled in the aquafarms' nets. We
don't even have a guess as to how many birds were killed for daring to try to
take a fish.
sly06 | cc by 2.0
The human taste for fish has exhausted
the oceans to the point that 90 percent of large fish populations have been exterminated
in the past 50 years. Fish farms only exacerbate the problem because it takes several
pounds of wild-caught fish (used for feed) to produce 1 pound of farmed fish. Fewer
fish in the ocean means fewer fish for seals and sea lions to eat, so is it any
wonder that they are attracted to fish farm "all-you-can-eat buffets"?
Our neighbors to the north aren't the
only ones who want to keep all the fish for themselves. A bill in Congress
would allow the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service to shoot any sea lion
caught eating endangered salmon
from the Columbia River. Ironically, humans,
who are the ones responsible for dwindling salmon numbers, can continue to eat all
the salmon they want.
The real solution to the depletion of salmon
stocks is considerably less violent: Stop eating fish. And ask your representatives
not to support any legislation that promotes killing sea lions.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Although I'm now a writer, my parents
raised me to be a hooker—and my dad was even a preacher, for heaven's sake! OK,
I'm talking about hooking
which, while it may not be "the world's oldest profession," is long
overdue for retirement.
Unfortunately, PETA wasn't around when
I was a kid to help prevent me from getting caught up in the abuse of aquatic
animals. But a brand-new
anti-fishing campaign launched at the Seattle
waterfront on Tuesday aims to do that for today's kids. Seattle was picked for
the first of a series of PETA actions leading up to Saturday's National Fish Amnesty Day
after being named one
of the top 11 urban fishing cities in North America.
Many people stopped to take our
leaflets and talk to the demonstrators. Some were so intrigued that they asked
in-depth questions about how fish suffer when they are impaled
in the mouth and pulled into an environment where they cannot breathe. These
curious folks left agreeing that fishing is wrong. If two animal advocates can
change these people's minds, what could PETA's 2 million members and supporters
All parents who fish send their kids
the dangerous message
that it's entertaining to torment and abuse animals.
Want to raise your kids to be compassionate toward fish instead of cruel? PETA
can hook you up!
Written by Jeff Mackey
fish are a big deal in Texas. Wildlife biologists are trudging through the
muddy bed of the Brazos River, rescuing endangered minnows who are trapped in small pools of water—all
that remain of the river after the state's worst drought in decades. Scientists
are taking the minnows to a fish hatchery until the Brazos starts flowing
for the rest of us, saving fish doesn't have to include donning waders and
slogging through muddy muck. It can be as easy as refusing to buy them from pet
stores and relegating them to a tiny bowl to die slowly from lack
of oxygen and being poisoned by their own waste. If you already have an
aquarium, make sure it is the proper size for your fish.
of course, you can save dozens of sea kittens every year simply by
leaving them off your
Written by Michelle Sherrow
These animals must have listened to
Robert F. Kennedy―they didn’t get mad, they got even.
Written by Michelle
People have been safely using toothpaste, dish soap, and other household products for generations, but that didn’t stop REACH, the European Union's massive chemical-testing program, from torturing and killing about 200,000 animals in tests on the ingredients in these products, among many other chemicals. A recent report by the agency that oversees REACH reveals that companies are ignoring the requirement to use every available alternative to experimenting on animals and are instead putting thousands of animals through suffering that most people wouldn't wish on their worst enemy.
According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, "Among these 'unnecessary' tests were 188 studies on eye irritation carried out on rabbits; 336 skin sensitisation studies on guinea pigs or mice; 254 short-term toxicity tests on fish; and 33 genetic toxicity tests on mice."
PETA U.K. is calling out the government officials responsible for enforcing REACH by placing this ad in an influential European politics magazine, The Parliament, and asking Europeans to write to the European Commission.
In related news, PETA and its international affiliates have written to the European Chemicals Agency, which oversees REACH, demanding a moratorium on reproductive toxicity testing until a newly approved refinement―that can spare hundreds of thousands of animals―is in place.
In the meantime, you can help animals on both sides of the pond by buying only cruelty-free products. Visit the PETA Living page for lists of companies that do and don’t test on animals.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
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.
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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.