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Fishing Teaches Children That Violence Is Acceptable,
For Immediate Release:March 11, 2013
Contact:Kaitlynn Kelly 202-483-7382
Burlington, Vt. -- After the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department released a
statement requesting more volunteers for its "Let's Go Fishing"
program, which aims to teach children and their families how to fish, PETA has
asked the department to cancel "Let's Go Fishing" and allocate its
funding to nonviolent educational youth programs.
"Teaching children to fish tells them that it's OK to inflict
pain and suffering on someone who is different from them," says PETA
Executive Vice President (and mom) Tracy Reiman. "Particularly at this
impressionable young age, we should be teaching our children lessons about
nonviolence, empathy, and acceptance."
PETA also points out that multiple scientific studies have
concluded that fish feel pain acutely. Fish suffer while being held out of
water just as humans would if drowning. Their mouths and lips are particularly
sensitive, and fish who are caught and thrown back endure painful injuries and
infections, and often die soon afterwards.
The money saved by canceling the "Let's Go
Fishing" program could fund many recreational activities along Vermont's
scenic waterways that would be safer for children and more humane for fish.
For more information, please visit PETA.org. To view PETA's new
anti-fishing public service announcement starring Joaquin Phoenix, click here.
PETA's letter to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife
March 11, 2013
Patrick BerryCommissionerVermont Fish & Wildlife
Dear Commissioner Berry,
I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including
thousands across Vermont, to respectfully urge you to cancel the "Let's Go
Fishing" program for the sake of kids, parents, and the fish themselves,
who suffer as a result of this misguided program.
The only lesson that fishing teaches children is that
violence is acceptable when it is directed against those who don't look like
them or are smaller and weaker than they are. Fish have particularly sensitive
mouths and lips that they use in much the same way that we use our hands.
Removing a hook often results in painful injuries to a fish's lips, throat,
mouth, and/or face, which can easily become infected. Research shows that fish
who are caught and thrown back into the water ("catch-and-release"
fishing) often die from their injuries, stress, and/or the loss of their
protective outer coating. If cats or dogs were the victims of similar abuse,
the perpetrators could be thrown in jail for cruelty to animals. A lack of
understanding and knowledge about fish, especially among young people, allows
this cruelty to continue.
There is irrefutable scientific evidence that fish feel
pain. The journal Fish and Fisheries cited more than 500 research papers
on fish intelligence and concluded that fish are intelligent animals with
sophisticated social structures. Dr. Donald Broom, scientific adviser to the
British government, has said, "The scientific literature is quite clear.
Anatomically, physiologically, and biologically, the pain system in fish is
virtually the same as in birds and mammals." Furthermore, if participants
use the "skills" that they acquire in the "Let's Go
Fishing" program to catch fish to eat, they could be putting their health
at risk. Fish flesh tends to contain large amounts of toxins, including mercury
and PCBs, which accumulate in the bodies of people who eat them and can promote
brain damage, cancer, and birth defects.
Please take a second look at this program and redirect this
money and time to other useful, nonviolent state programs that everyone can get
Tracy ReimanExecutive Vice PresidentPETA
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.