A Vegan White House Fish Fry? PETA’s Proposal to President Comes With a Catch: Go Vegan for Lent

For Immediate Release:
February 17, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382


PETA has presented President Joe Biden with a tasty opportunaty to set a positive example for America’s nearly 62 million Catholics by keeping all animals, including fish, off his plate during Lent this year: PETA is offering to help the country’s second Catholic president throw the first-ever White House vegan fish fry—and make sure it goes swimmingly by providing delicious fare from Washington-area restaurants. In a letter sent today, the group sweetens the deal for the president—who traditionally gives up his cherished ice cream and other sweets for the 40 days of Lent—with a promise to serve the city’s best dairy-free ice cream for dessert.

“It may be inconvenient to accept the fact that fish feel pain and fear, as all animals and humans do, but anything can be made deliciously vegan these days, so leaving fish off our plates during Lent and beyond isn’t hard at all,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is offering to treat the White House to a full vegan fish fry if President Biden goes vegan for Lent, inspiring others to show mercy to animals, too.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Biden follows.

Dear Mr. President:

I’m writing on behalf of PETA, the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 5 million members and supporters in the U.S., with a respectful request: Will you please leave fish off your plate and go vegan for Lent? This act of mercy would encourage the nation’s  Catholics to consider that fish—and all other animals—never lent humans their flesh while showing you’re aware of the devastating impact that fishing has on the environment and the health risks associated with eating them. If you agree, we’ll cater a vegan fish fry at the White House with dairy-free ice cream for dessert from Washington restaurants such as NuVegan Café, Elife Vegan Restaurant, and Little Sesame.

Pope Francis has said, “Every act of cruelty towards any creature is contrary to human dignity.” Although old Lenten abstinence laws still treat fish differently, it’s no longer a seacret that fish are smart, sensitive beings, who have distinct personalities, learn from one another, recognize themselves in mirrors, and have better memories than most humans around our age. Scientific books like Jonathan Balcombe’s What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins should prevent us from pretending that fish are some kind of swimming vegetable, insensible to pain. Fish don’t willingly give up their lives to be eaten on Fridays—or any other day.

During this period of self-reflection, please show mercy and understanding by abstaining from eating all flesh, including that of fish. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk


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