Written by PETA
We've been saying for years that fishing kills. Remember this oldie-but-goodie tuna can sticker?
Need another reason not to eat fish sea kittens? A new survey reveals that over the past two decades, millions (yes, millions) of turtles have died after becoming ensnared in fishing gear.
Turtles are intelligent, sensitive animals who are pretty helpless to defend themselves—and we can all agree that this is a good reason not to kill them. So if you wouldn't kill a turtle, why would you kill a fish? Fish are complex, clever, and just as sensitive to pain as turtles are, yet the commercial fishing industry kills them by the billions each year—not for fun but because people buy its products.
The easiest way to save sea turtles (and dolphins and fish)? Go vegan.
Written by Logan Scherer
What do you get when you cross a turtle with a swimming pool? Salmonella soup.
According to a recent news report, two Union County, North Carolina, teenagers contracted salmonella after taking a dip in a backyard pool with two "pet" turtles. Both suffered stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting—one of the girls developed kidney failure and had to spend eight days in the hospital.
These girls are only two victims of the largest turtle-related salmonella outbreak in U.S history. More than 100 people in 34 states—most of them children—were sickened by the same strain of salmonella between 2007 and 2008.
Authorities believe that the outbreak may have occurred during the shipping process, when one infected turtle—who was probably being stored in an extremely crowded, cramped, and inadequate space before being mailed off to a pet shop or flea market—contaminated his buddies.
This outbreak isn't an isolated incident. The FDA reports that there are more than 74,000 "pet" turtle–related cases of human salmonella poisoning every year. And that's understandable when you consider how easily salmonella spreads. Simply by playing with turtles at school, kids can bring the germs home to family members.
Many of the parents of infected kids had no clue that turtles even carried salmonella. Um, hello—there's a reason why it's illegal to sell turtles with shells less than 4 inches long. After all, kids do the darndest things—like put baby turtles in their mouths …
So what have we learned? Let's see—don't buy turtles or other exotic animals, refrain from putting reptiles near or in your mouth, and never, ever invite turtles to your pool party.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Thanks to a sharp-eyed shopper and the quick work of PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department, baby turtles have been rescued from a store in NYC's Chinatown.
These little guys were small—so small that it's actually illegal to sell them—yet they were being hawked as "pets" to unwitting tourists who often don't have a clue about how to take care of such delicate animals.
And that's where the concern of one compassionate citizen really made a difference. She wasn't an expert on turtle care, but after visiting the store, this young woman knew that these turtles were being inhumanely treated. Not only were they tiny, they were being kept in little plastic containers with very little water and nothing else. They were also living outside the shop in direct sunlight for most of the day.
After hitting a brick wall with local officials, the young lady called PETA. Faster than you can say "salmonella souvenirs" (according to the FDA, there are more than 74,000 "pet" turtle–related cases of human salmonella poisoning every year), a PETA cruelty caseworker got the DOH to respond ASAP. That same day, the agency seized eight of the turtles and issued citations to the seedy store for violating New York State Department of Health codes that make it illegal to sell turtles smaller than 4 inches long.
Now living large at a turtle sanctuary, these eight tiny turtles have been given the opportunity to live out their lives in luxury. But there are still aquatic animals who need our help. Won't you tell Brookstone head honchos to get their heads out of their, er, shells and end the sale of Frog-O-Spheres today?
Have you seen the stories about the child who died from salmonella he got from a pet turtle? It's so sad, and is yet another reminder of the dangers of keeping turtles in captivity. According to the FDA, there are more than 74,000 cases like this per year, so clearly more people need to hear about it.
And while it's awful that people get sick and all, let’s not forget that keeping turtles in aquariums or cages is certainly no fun for them either. Far from it. The best solution for everyone involved is to simply leave the turtles alone and let them live where they belong, in the wild.
So the next time you see someone selling little turtles in a souvenir shop or in a bodega in NYC (they are super popular in Chinatown), speak up. And remember that it’s actually illegal to sell turtles with shells less than 4” long, so if you spot that, report the place to the authorities.
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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.