When I was in elementary school, I had a friend named Katie. We slept over at each other’s houses, hung out during recess, and wore the same clothes, pretending to be twins. I was so ready to give her the other half of my best-friend necklace—but then I heard her talking smack about me in the lunch room. Backstabber.
The CEO of Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, is a lot like Katie. While the aquarium’s mission is supposedly “to instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems,” CEO Dr. Jerry Schubel has just launched a new program called “Seafood for the Future”—which encourages people to eat specific kinds of fish in order to qualify for a free ticket to the aquarium.
If Dr. Schubel really knew what was best for fish, he’d know that eating them isn’t an option. Fish communicate and develop relationships with one another. They experience fear, show affection by gently rubbing against other fish, and even grieve when their companions die. When they are dragged from the ocean’s depths, they undergo excruciating decompression, which often causes their internal organs to rupture.
Encouraging aquarium visitors to eat fish seems a little bit like serving poodle burgers at a dog show. Wouldn’t you think the best way for visitors to safeguard and respect the ocean’s sea life is to adopt a vegan diet? We’ve fired off a letter to Dr. Schubel asking him to cancel this program immediately.
Is it obvious yet that aquariums really don’t care about the animals they’re supposedly protecting?
Written by Liz Graffeo