Written by PETA
It's no secret that sea kittens stay in their schools far longer than humans do. That's why it struck us as odd that Whitefish High School in Montana has failed to stay up to date with the Sea Kitten Revolution. So we wrote to them, tongue-in-cheek (which is better than hook-through-lip), to ask them to consider changing their name to something a tad more sea kitten–friendly. We can see it now: Sea Kitten High School! The coolest school in the whole country.
In his letter, our Dan Shannon included lots of reasons why sea kitten hunting hurts. "We're hoping that this name change will encourage people young and old to start treating these gentle 'kittens of the sea' with respect—and show them the kindness that they deserve."
Because we know that sea kittens are smart, we thought of a few courses that they might like to take at Sea Kitten High—besides marine biology. For instance, some sea kittens are avid gardeners. They'd love a botany class in which they could learn about cultivating their algae patches! And why not give them a choir class to exercise their vocal talents? Some sea kittens sing to their romantic interests.
Any ideas for a sea kitten curriculum?
Written by Lianne Turner
First there were sea kittens. Now, I give you sea puppies:
Volkswagen's commercial for the new SpaceFox car shows a half-dog, half-fish animal and his loving guardian. We think it's sweet that this "sea puppy" (as I like to call him) is his human's best friend, and it even reminded us a little of our campaign! The sea puppy reminds viewers that fish have personalities, just like dogs—even if they aren't so great at playing fetch. And that's why we are nominating Volkswagen for a Glitterbox Award! Glitterbox Awards are given to companies that portray animals in a positive manner, and we think VW is quite deserving in this case.
We know that dogs and fish both need love, so it's awesome that Volkswagen can encourage the world to think of them as intelligent creatures who can be part of the family—not part of dinner.
Whether he's playing snarky talent agent Ari on Entourage or starring in blockbusters like Rock 'n Rolla and Smokin' Aces, we think Emmy Award–winning actor Jeremy Piven is fantastic … but something tells me that sea kittens might have another opinion.
Piven had to cut his Broadway performance short recently when doctors advised him to stay off the stage because of his body's high level of mercury. Could it be sea kitten–related? Not sure, but whatever it is, sounds to me like Jeremy needs a little advice.
So, we're going to send him a little vegetarian-friendly care package. After all, in Norfolk, we know whereof we speak: We even have a local restaurant that serves faux fish tacos! They have all the taste with none of the fin or heavy metals. Plus, sea kittens feel pain just as much as dogs, cats, and I do, thanks to our similar central nervous systems.
Mercury poisoning, which is linked to the consumption of sea kittens, can cause severe health problems for humans, including brain damage, memory loss, personality change, and tremors. Now, I like Ari just the way he is—so please Jer, ditch the fish!
We've got some fantastic faux-fish recipes so everyone can get in on the act.
So here's hoping Jeremy does what's right … for his health, for the environment, and for all the sea kittens of the world.
Written by Christine Doré
I am thrilled to announce the launch of the cutest campaign ever to exist: Save the Sea Kittens! In an effort to get people to think about fish in a whole new way, we decided to change their name for a while. If people had to order "sea kitten sticks" at a restaurant, I guarantee that the world would think a bit differently. Imagine that you open your menu and decide on the salmon—and then this image pops into your head:
Yeah, I think you'd go with a different menu item after that little reminder (might I recommend this dish if you're craving that flavor, as it's delicious and causes none of the cruelty).
It's easy to order and purchase meat when it's wrapped in neat, clean little packages, void of all the blood and pain that goes into creating it. Fish get an especially bad deal. People go fishing (a.k.a. sea kitten hunting) all the time without a care in the world—because fish can't scream and force people to think about the cruelty of their actions.
So we're changing things up a bit now and helping to give fish everywhere a voice. When people realize how fascinating (and adorable) fish can be, they might think twice. I took it a step further and dressed up my own sea kitten (which you can do, too, by clicking here). I'm pleased to introduce you to Ruth, my new swimmy lil' pal:
Isn't she grand? Probably the best sea kitten ever created—but you can try to prove me wrong. Dress up your own sea kitten and leave me a comment to tell me his or her name. We'll have ourselves a little sea kitten party up in here! In our new feature, we've pulled out all the stops. You can read sea kitten bedtime stories, grab your own sea kitten computer décor, and even take action to try and stop sea kitten hunting.
San Diego recently got a special treat—in the form of three fishy PETA activists. The three ladies, wearing silver body-paint and little else, posed under a net just blocks away from the harbor. Their message: "Scale Back Cruelty: Stop Fishing."
Our activists could breathe as they lay under a net in the hot sun, but fish aren't so lucky. Fish caught in commercial gill nets suffocate or slowly freeze to death as they are tossed alive into large freezers. One fact that most people might not know is that fish are equal to dogs, cats, and all other animals in their capacity to feel pain. Plus, there have been more than 500 research papers on fish intelligence, proving that fish are smart, that they can use tools, and that they have impressive long-term memories and sophisticated social structures.
Our fish ladies got a lot of attention in San Diego—and hopefully, a lot of people will think twice before their next fish fry. Check out pics of their great demo:
Written by Amanda Schinke
PETA created a Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Salmon list a couple years ago. With the report of a man contending that he got a 9-foot (!!!) tapeworm after eating undercooked salmon hitting the news cycle, it looks like it's time for the list to be updated.
In a lawsuit filed on Monday, a man said he ordered salmon salad for lunch from Shaw's Crab House in Chicago in 2006 and fell violently ill. He later passed the giant (three yard sticks long!!!) parasite, which a pathologist determined came from undercooked fish, such as, yes, salmon.
So, which current top reason not to eat salmon does a 9-foot (!!!) tapeworm knock off? The Environmental Working Group estimates that 800,000 people in the U.S. face an excess lifetime cancer risk from eating farmed salmon. Would you rather have cancer or a tapeworm? Studies have also shown that children born to mothers who eat fish are slower to talk, walk, and develop fine motor skills and that they have weaker memories and shorter attention spans (fish collect toxins). Hmm … brain damage or tapeworms? Tough choices ahead!
Oh, wait! Sorry for making a big deal about the fact that the tapeworm was 9 feet long. It turns out that tapeworms can measure up to 50 feet long. So I guess 9 feet is nothing to worry about. No big deal.
Take a look at our original Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Salmon list here, and let me know what you think about this whole, um, adventure.
Written by Joel Bartlett
According to researchers, this shows that fish are more similar to us than many folks would suspect. "[T]he sophisticated neural circuitry that midshipman [fish] use to vocalize develops in a similar region of the central nervous system as the circuitry that allows a human to laugh or a frog to croak …," according to the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where research was conducted.
One researcher at MBL—named, I promise, Dr. Bass—believes that vocal communication is probably widespread among our finned friends. It may even give insight as to how fish have evolved.
Take note that this isn't an isolated bit of research—a great deal of time has been dedicated to investigating methods of animal communication. Each new study verifies more and more what many of us have suspected for years: Humans and other animals aren't all that different.
Posted by Sean Conner
This all came into question when a team of researchers in Japan (where almost everything but drinking water is prepared with fish) found a volatile chemical from perspiration on clothes worn by older participants in a sleep study. When U.S. researchers did a separate exercise study that didn’t use chronic fish-eaters, they did not come across this same compound. Analyzing both sets of data, researchers found that older study participants' sweat had more "stinky smell"—from metabolizing excess unsaturated fatty acids from the fish—than younger participants' sweat did.
To put it succinctly: Please don't eat fish, lest you grow up to be a smelly old person. (And if you do become such a person, please refrain from working out on the elliptical next to mine—you know who you are!)
So if you can't be motivated out of compassion for the sea animals who suffer immensely as they are hauled up from their aquatic homes to decompress or "drown" in the open air, please give up fish for the sake of the assisted living staff who will have to scrub your body some years from now.
Please, the fish—and the sponge-bathers—are counting on you!
This story's got it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's just sort of in reverse order. Think: bad beginning but great ending for a few hundred fish and snails!
On an average day, PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department receives dozens of phone calls from caring individuals who have witnessed—and wish to report—cases of animal abuse. One recent tip came from a Wal-Mart customer, who overheard employees say that the store was undergoing renovations and that it would no longer be selling fish. In theory, that's good news. Unsold fish would have been “dry-bagged,” causing them to suffocate to death.
Our Cruelty Investigations Department immediately swam into action. The result: Wal-Mart agreed to give all the fish to PETA, and our staff rushed to pick them up—with no time to spare. Several hundred fish and snails were removed and many are now living in the lap of luxury with PETA staffers.
This is, I'm sure, a welcome change for the fish, who are intelligent little animals (they can even eavesdrop just as we do!).
While we ordinarily would never advocate putting any fish in a tank, these little guys—who would have suffered a prolonged, terrifying death—are now swimming, jumping, and diving their way around their new spacious tanks, which are full of plants, clean water and shipwreck loads of stimulation to keep them happy. Thanks to the PETA staffers who have graciously provided these fish with a great new home!
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Here's what Jeff says about this week's masterpiece: "The strip is based on the sad measures that officials have to take in order to protect rhinos from poachers. And a little depravity thrown in for good measure."
He also let me know that, in honor of Earth Week, he sprayed this strip with 50 percent less pesticides. Which was very noble of him, I thought. Anyway, this one's a zinger—enjoy!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
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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.