Written by PETA
We know that fish sea kittens are intelligent. How about ingenious? Indeed!
According to recent findings published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, nine-spined sticklebacks are able to hone in on their best dining options simply by watching other fish. One of the authors of the study remarked that this makes the animals "geniuses of the fish world."
Nine-spined sticklebacks have one up on yours truly. When I dine out, I have to visit Menupages.com to figure out where to go.
I do, however, live with a genius. Watch my best buddy, Charlie, pick his squeaky beer can toy, a gift from his Aunt Lisa, out of a lineup of toys.
Think your other-than-human friend can top that? Tell all in the comments section below!
Written by Karin Bennett
F is for "fisherman":
noun 1 a person who catches fish for a living or for sport.
noun 1 a person ignorant of, oblivious to, or indifferent to the fact that he or she is inflicting pain by catching, suffocating, stabbing, and gutting fish; someone who is hooked on cruelty.
In light of a new study revealing that fish feel and remember pain, PETA Europe has sent a letter to the folks at Oxford English Dictionary asking that they change their definition of "fisherman" to the rather more accurate version above (that's the second one, in case you weren't sure).
Because a fish sea kitten has a nervous system just as humans do, struggles against death, and has lips that are sensitive to the tearing of flesh caused by hooks, PETA Europe considers the Oxford English Dictionary's current definition of "fisherman" a little--ahem--insensitive. Don't you agree?
Leave a comment below with your suggestion for a new, more accurate definition of "fisherman."
Written by Shawna Flavell
When I was 12, I won a fishing contest—something I haven't been proud of for a long time now. Back in the day, I was conditioned to ignore any qualms I might have felt about hooking fish, but I eventually realized how much suffering I was causing and put down my rod and reel for good.
What I've only more recently come to understand is that angling doesn't just hurt fish. Case in point: PETA staffers Hannah and Philip Schein were at Lake Kussharo in Hokkaido, Japan, when they saw a whooper swan who had a multi-pronged fishing lure embedded in her foot. She tried to remove it the only way she could—with her mouth—but the sharp hooks only became embedded in her beak as well. With her face now attached to her foot, the swan struggled in a twisted circular position, panicked and in pain:
Tragedy was avoided in this case, but not all victims of fishing tackle are so lucky. Countless water birds and mammals suffer, and many die, from injuries caused by discarded or lost fishing hooks, monofilament line, lead weights, and floats. Animals who become entangled in fishing line can be trapped underwater and drown or die slowly of starvation. The UK has banned certain types of tackle because of this problem, and other countries need to follow its lead.
Even non-anglers can help by skipping seafood. Commercial fishing boats haul in sharks, sea turtles, birds, seals, and dolphins who get tangled in nets and hooked by long-lines only to be thrown overboard to die of shock, blood loss, or predation.
If you find yourself craving cod or salivating over salmon, just picture a plate full of snared, scared swans. Then enjoy these cruelty-free recipes instead.
Written by Jeff Mackey
You may have noticed that PETA has been working hard to give our finned friends a PR boost. Well, it seems that some sea kittens in South Korea may have heard about our campaign and decided to do their own makeover. According to an article in the U.K.'s Telegraph, two female carp in a small pond in Chongju have adapted to look like humans! Check out their distinctive noses, eyes, and lips:
We already knew that sea kittens have complex social systems, communicate with each other using low-frequency sounds, and use tools just like humans do, but now they even look like us! Cannibalism is generally frowned upon, so do you think this might persuade people to finally stop eating sea kittens, once and for all?
P.S. If this story has inspired you to give up fish for good, try out this recipe for grilled tofu with blackened seasoning. Looks just like grilled fish, tastes a million times better, and I promise it never resembled Mr. Limpet.
Written by Liz Graffeo
When I was a kid and was really, really bored, I amused myself by holding a thermometer up to the heater in the bathroom (before you judge me, understand that I was living in a tiny town in Oklahoma with very few entertainment options).
After watching the temperature go up and down several times, I decided to see what would happen if I just held it there until it went all the way up. The result was that the end of the thermometer broke and the mercury spilled onto the floor. While it might sound like I wasn't very bright, I at least had enough sense not to touch the mercury when cleaning it up. And a good thing, too, since mercury exposure is bad news, as it leads to an increased risk of severe health problems and neurological symptoms, including memory loss, personality change, tremors, spontaneous abortion, and damage to a developing fetus. Fun stuff, huh?
Of course, broken thermometers aren't the main cause of mercury poisoning. Any guesses? That's right: Eating fish is. A writer for Salon.com memorably called fish "the pathway of mercury to our bloodstreams." Long story short: Burning coal releases mercury into the air. The mercury then cools and falls into the water, where it is transformed by bacteria into even-more-toxic methylmercury, which works its way up the aquatic food chain to the "Captain's Platter" at your local seafood restaurant.
The good news? The Obama administration has announced its intention to take action to cut mercury pollution. The not-so-good news? That's only half the battle.
That's why we're letting people know that they can block mercury poisoning right now by cutting out fish. Our new "Got Drain Bamage?" billboard, shown here, has just gone up in Madison, Wisconsin, because of concerns about mercury in fish from local waters. But even if you don't live in Wisconsin, don't think you're off the hook: The fish you buy in the supermarket can come from anywhere, including waters teeming with mercury, DDT, PCBs, and other toxins.
I'm just glad I learned to stay away from fish—and thermometers—so Mensa won't come and take away my membership card.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Yippee—it's the Aquaculture America Convention: a bunch of aquaculturists (fiendish fish farmers) trawling around a trade show that feeds off "aquacruelty" (my made-up term for fish abuse). Not my idea of a fun time. But wait, what's going on outside Seattle's convention center? It's a pile of PETA members playing dead on the sidewalk:
Why is this flashy foursome dressed like Poseidon's peeps? To definned our fish friends against aquacruelty, of course. Fish, who are just as smart, interesting, and capable of feeling pain as any other animal, are raised on "farms" where they are crammed by the thousands into ponds, tanks, or mesh cages so small and filthy that they're forced to swim in their own muck. Seriously, how gross are fish sticks? No fish or faux fish is where it's at!
Here's a parting pic of this splashy protest:
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Tracy Morgan is thanking his lucky goldfish this morning, after he and his finned friends miraculously escaped a potentially tragic accident.
People.com reports that a faulty light in the 30 Rock star's fish tank sparked a fire, putting the actor's companions and his home in serious danger. Fortunately, firefighters were able to quickly put out the fire before it spread, and Tracy's beloved shark and piranha, who are housed in the tank, survived the scary ordeal unscathed.
At the risk of being a wet blanket, I'd like to take a moment to reiterate why we think it's best for Nemo and his buddies to stay in their native habitat. Not only are glass tanks confining, they also leave fish vulnerable to dangers that they have no way of escaping. And the methods used to catch exotic fish poison coral reefs and contribute to the decimation of wild populations. So, in addition to refusing to eat or hook sea kittens, let's stop locking them up in little watery jails, shall we?
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Not content with the reams of newsprint that have already been dedicated to our Save the Sea Kittens campaign, we're going for a little more face time for our finned friends by asking Lance Bass, the former 'N Sync singer and "Dancing With the Stars" alum, to change his last name from "Bass" to "Sea Kitten." We hope Lance goes for it hook, line, 'N Sync-er. (Badump-bump.)
Yes, we know that "bass" can also refer to a long-necked guitar or a really big violin-like instrument, and it can also refer to a certain shoe company, but when most people hear the word "bass," they might think "large mouth." And while that’s nice on fish … we love you, Lance, and we have your back!
Lance, if you're reading this, please know that it was your friends at PETA who got most upset when judge Len Goodman called you "pigeon-toed." Don't even get us started on the disrespect that pigeons are forced to endure.
And bear in mind that prepubescent girls just love kittens. Can you say, "'N Sync reunion"?
Written by Alisa Mullins
While America is cozying up to the idea of the Sea Kitten Revolution, apparently some people at Spearfish High School (aka "Sea Kitten High") are just being grumps about the whole thing. I would think they'd have been honored when we suggested that they change the name of their school from Spearfish to Sea Kitten. I mean, it rolls off the tongue so much nicer, and it doesn't promote the hideous abuse of our lil' underwater friends.
The school's sourpuss attitude went to a whole new level when Spearfish students created T-shirts that poke fun at our request for the name change. Pshaw.
Not ones to back down, we got our creative juices flowing and pumped out some very fine "Save the Sea Kittens" shirts, which we shipped off yesterday to Spearfish Principal Steve Morford, along with a letter urging him to provide them as an alternative to students who are sympathetic to the plight of sea kittens.
While the whole name-change request may be a bit tongue-in-cheek (Did you like the line about how it's better to be tongue-in-cheek than have a hook in the mouth? Someone deserves a raise!), our message that our finned friends deserve compassion is certainly serious.
Haters, if you're reading this, just note that all the proud "carnivores" who poked fun at my vegetarian ways when I was in high school are still living in their parents' basement and have gained about 50 pounds each. Best of luck to you.
Written by Christine Doré
Yesterday we wrote to Whitefish High School and suggested that it change its name to Sea Kitten High in order to let people know that sea kittens are just as deserving of love as their land-dwelling counterparts. We were so excited to hear back from Jerry House, the Whitefish schools Superintendent. Superintendent House announced that he thinks the change would be a great idea, not just for the high school, but for the whole city!
House suggested that instead of "Sea Kitten," it might be more appropriate to call the city "White Kitten," given Montana's lack of proximity to the ocean. "White Kitten High School, the White Kitten City Council, the White Kitten Fire Department—it has a certain ring to it, don't you think?" We really do think so, Superintendent House, and we love that you can see our point so clearly.
And if you break the law, House warns, "[Y]ou'll be arrested by the White Kitten Police Department, and taken to the White Kitten Jail, where you'll be treated with soft, furry paws and a purr of compassion." Aww … I'm totally moving to Montana.
He even suggested that the new name would bring new business to the town—perhaps the National Federation of Sea Kittens, instead of the outdated National Federation of Fly-Fishers that they're used to? House looks forward to it: "The fur will be flying, and they'll have scratching post exhibits." They'd better get started on that name change, because it looks like they've got some prep work ahead of them. As our new favorite superintendent said, "[W]e're going to have to bring in lots and lots of litter boxes."
Written by Lianne Turner
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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.