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
Written by Michelle Kretzer
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.
Written by PETA
PETA's giant Freeda Fish was caught trying to sink a Lake Ridge, Virginia, "Fish Out." The Lake Ridge Parks & Recreation Association dumped 750 rainbow trout into a swimming pool, and over the next week, people can catch them for entertainment. But Freeda and her pals made waves at the event, passing out fliers explaining that being hooked hurts.
The nervous system in fish is virtually the same as in birds and mammals, and they feel and respond to pain. There's nothing sporting about piercing a fish's mouth and yanking the animal into an environment in which he or she slowly suffocates. Join Freeda and her buddies in letting fish be your friend, not your food, and out fish from your diet.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but The New York Times wasn't pussyfooting around when it printed this about fish sea kittens:
We've been saying it all along, but there it is in black and white—thanks to The Gray Lady. Now, why don't you issue your own official statement, in yellow and blue?
Written by Karin Bennett
After North Korea fired an artillery barrage into the Yellow Sea yesterday, U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary Philip J. Crowley told reporters, "Well, I'm sure it resulted in a lot of dead fish. And we certainly hope that PETA will protest."
We're flattered that Mr. Crowley has faith in PETA's ability to defend fish sea kittens, and we would like to note that since we do indeed tackle "everything from fur-wearing Hollywood celebrities and circus elephant acts to the meat and dairy industry," we need folks like Mr. Crowley who are concerned about sea kittens to take action to help them. For starters, we can all help stop the military from bombarding ocean life between California and Hawaii with sonar blasts.
It's no secret that the airline industry has been struggling to make ends meet—even the perennially profitable Hawaiian Airlines has hit some market turbulence lately. So PETA has reached out to Hawaiian with a win-win proposition: Make Hawaiian Airlines the official airline of sea kittens.
Hawaii is known for its "aloha spirit." What better way to extend love, compassion, and mercy than by standing with these smart, fascinating, and most misunderstood animals? If Hawaiian accepts our offer, the airline would be working to help change the public's perception of fish by giving these vastly underappreciated animals a new name and a new image that reflects their interesting personalities and remarkable intelligence. And PETA would promote Hawaiian to our friends (that would be you guys) as the airline of choice for sea kitten–friendly travelers.
In the meantime, if you want to wrap something (including yourself) in a pro–sea kitten message, check this out.
Written by Jeff Mackey
By now, we all know what a sea kitten is—or do we?
If you're baffled by the term, you must be a new PETA Files reader (welcome!). PETA's been campaigning for sea kittens for years, but there are still some people who look at us glassy-eyed when we mention these adorable animals, which is why we are asking Merriam-Webster to add an entry for "sea kitten" to its popular dictionaries. That way, anyone who hears the term "sea kittens" will know that they are smart, social, and sensitive animals who deserve our respect and compassion—instead of being hooked, netted, and suffocated.
While we're waiting to see if "sea kitten" makes the cut for the latest editions of the dictionary, you can help make people aware of sea kittens and how to help them with one of our fab "Eat No Sea Kitten" T-shirts!
The last sardine cannery in the U.S. (located in Prospect Harbor, Maine) is about to close its doors, which is great news for the tiniest fish sea kittens. But another company that cuts up and packages lobsters and other sea animals wants to buy the cannery. As we all know, marine animals suffer when they are snagged on hooks, crushed in massive nets, pulled up from their ocean homes, and even boiled alive. Talk about news that'll make your Monday blue.
PETA is urging Maine Gov. John Baldacci to "can the cruelty" and turn the plant into a blueberry cannery instead. Maine produces a quarter of the country's blueberries, so switching to that business would support the local economy and let the cannery workers keep their jobs—not to mention save the lives of countless lobsters and other sea animals. Let's hope Gov. Baldacci says, "Can we do it? Yes we can (blueberries)!"
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Today, we're breaking out the bubbly to celebrate a victory. The Oscar-winning filmmakers behind The Cove recently went undercover inside The Hump—a Los Angeles sushi joint—to gather evidence that the restaurant was selling whale sushi. Yesterday, Typhoon Restaurant Inc.—the company that owns The Hump—was charged with illegally selling whale meat. According to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, those charged with possession or sale of marine mammals may face up to a year in prison or a $20,000 fine.
Whales are intelligent, social, and sensitive animals, but so are fish sea kittens, who have been deemed smarter than 5-year-old humans. Fish have central nervous systems that closely resemble those of humans, and fish who are caught in the commercial fishing industry suffer immeasurable pain as they are pulled up from the depths of their ocean homes. They thrash on the decks of fishing boats, and many of them vomit up their own guts as a result of the quick pressure change. So while we're stoked that the whale sushi has been removed from The Hump's menu, here's a question for anyone who continues to eat flesh: If you wouldn't eat a whale, then why would you eat a sea kitten?
Written by Logan Scherer
Those of you who still need convincing that fish sea kittens are smarter than a 5-year-old should check out today's New York Times. Molecular biologist and geneticist Sean B. Carroll writes about recent studies indicating that fish who inhabit coral reefs can learn to differentiate between targets marked with different designs and colors in order to obtain food. Other studies of coral-reef fish in their natural habitat show that fish are more drawn to "dummies" that closely resemble beneficial "cleaner fish" than to dummies with similar coloring but different markings.
If you can stand the cuteness, check out this photo of a teeny-tiny damselfish poking a target marked with an asterisk with his (or her) teeny-tiny nose.
Of course, it comes as no surprise to us here at Sea Kitten Central that fish are smart cookies. Previous studies have shown that fish have long-term memories and can learn to avoid nets by watching what other fish do. "[T]hey are capable of learning quickly," says Dr. Chris Glass, director of marine conservation at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Massachusetts. Dr. Phil Gee, a psychologist at the University of Plymouth in the U.K., says that fish can even tell what time of day it is: Dr. Gee trained fish to collect food by pressing a lever at specific times.
Still not convinced? You leave me no choice but to unleash … goldfish soccer.
Written by Alisa Mullins
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
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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.