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Would You Eat Your Friends?

Written by PETA | June 16, 2011

No? In honor of “Fish Are Friends, Not Food” Week, here are five reasons why we should leave our finned friends off our forks too:

1. Fish are smart cookies. Fish can count and tell time, they are fast learners, they think ahead, they have unique personalities, and they may even have a sense of humor.

2. Eating fish is not so smart. Fish flesh is frequently contaminated with mercury, medications, household chemicals, PCBs, DDT, and other toxins. If you wouldn’t drink water tainted by sewage, heavy metals, and other contaminants, why risk your health by eating fish who are pulled from this toxic brew?

3. Fish feel pain—as all animals do. A recent undercover investigation inside a fish slaughter facility found that workers were using pliers to peel away strips of skin from conscious, struggling animals.

4. The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out …. A few years ago, a man sued a Chicago restaurant after, he said, he became violently ill from eating an undercooked salmon salad—and later passed a 9-foot-long tapeworm. Seafood can also spread hepatitis A, noroviruses, and other foodborne illnesses

5. If we keep gobbling them up, there won’t be any fish left. Scientists say that two-thirds of all tuna, grouper, cod, and other “predator fish” have been caught and consumed by humans—and the rest will likely perish in the decades ahead. The only truly “sustainable” fish is fake.

Check out PETA’s website for more reasons to stick up for fish.

Written by Paula Moore


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  • Liz-CoolProducts says:

    Great article and I especially like the tag of the week ” Fish are Friends, Not Food.” It baffles me that most think fish are not considered meat so that is all vegans eat, wish more people understood Thanks! Liz-CoolProducts

  • Attila says:

    All I can say is…”I’m sure as hell glad that I’m a vegan!!!”. In fact, when people learn my age, they NEVER believe me when I tell them. They think I’m approx. 10-15 yrs. younger. I attribute that to my youth-prompting vegan diet, ’cause…I don’t eat carcasses!!!!!

  • Hana Bakemono says:

    First off, of course all animals feel pain. Everyone with a brain knows this. Secondly, the reason why that man got sick is because the fish was undercooked. Any kind of meat undercooked will make ANYONE sick and even get worms inside them. And about “there won’t be any fish left,” is also false. On the coast of California and in Lake Erie, there are fish who have multiplied and are eating other fish, plants and shellfish. What’s not stopping them is they have no predators to keep the population under control. If they keep this up, business (not just fishing, but boats and other water activities like scuba diving and swimming) will fail, the fish will starve since they ate everything and then will die out, slowly and painfully. So, humans must step in and keep it under control. Do most of us like it? No. In fact, Germany has banned specific types of fishing, and the British RSPCA now formally prosecutes individuals who are cruel to fish. With consuming fish, they contain omega 3 fatty acids found in pelagic fishes, are heart-friendly and can make improvements in brain development and reproduction. And the only reason why they contain mercury, medications, household chemicals, PCBs, DDT, and other toxins is because stupid people pollute. And yes, there are people out there fixing this problem so fish are healthier which makes us healthier. How about instead of going over things like this, why not talk about illegal shark hunting, which IS killing the population of their species and makes it so humans must hunt and kill fish to control the population instead of sharks since people are slicing off their fins as trophies and leave them in the water to bleed to death. Also, if you’re so bothered by this, why don’t you write to congress and see if they, like Germany and Britain, can change the laws so that things can be better for fish instead of complaining about it on your website.

  • Rachel says:

    I am glad to say I have never eaten fish in my life! no exaggeration!

  • mayaisveg says:

    when i say im veg people ask “well do you eat fish” and it drives me nuts because people say a fish isnt a meat (or an animal) so i can eat it. First of all eating  dead animal is gross and second of all a fish is a animal and its cruel to kill an animal and eat it when there are hundreds of thousands of other foods you can eat.

  • Shari says:

    I think fish have cute faces! And their bodies are so colorful! I think of them as beautiful floating art work! More attention should be brought up about them! Fish have families and feelings and kids should learn about them at an early age!

  • Emily says:

    Everyone I know says fish are dumb pets, but thats not true, I spent weeks digging a huge koi pond and it big enough I swim in it with my koi and they all come up and rub against me and love me very much, I hardly call that stupid .

  • huguesr says:

    Years ago as I was playing with kids in a shallow lake I started to play hide and seek with a trout! I used my foot to tease the trout. She hid within algae and she even came to nip my toe. It was a happening, kids were all excites and they long have forgotten. I have told that I was silly and I am so gullible and naive. I feel vindicated to read that fish has a sense of humor, that trout definitely had a good one. I am vegan and I know that are scient animals. I never forget this moment of happiness and trans species connection. Thank you trout!!!

  • JFree_xxx says:

    Totally agree with the first point from sharing my house with some fishy companions over the years.

  • Sherri says:

    I love fish! When my brother had pet fish before, they used to separate different colored stones into different piles, they’re really clever, I hate it when vegetarians claim its acceptable to eat fish, as it “isn’t an animal”, seriously shut up.

  • kathy says:

    When I used to eat meat I also became violently ill for about 5 hours from eating a can of salmon. The can was not dented and had not reached its expiration date. Very happy to be a healthy vegan now.