Berkeley Teen Nets ‘Hero to Animals’ Award for Bill Banning Live Fish Prizes

peta2 Recognizes Simone Stevens for Putting an End to Carnival Fish Giveaways

For Immediate Release:
November 2, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Berkeley, Calif. – A Hero to Animals Award is on its way from peta2, PETA’s youth division, to Berkeley teenager Simone Stevens for proposing and helping to pass a citywide ordinance banning the use of live fish as prizes at fairs and carnivals. Stevens, a former intern for a city council member, was inspired to draft the bill after reading a peta2 blog post detailing how sensitive goldfish and betta fish used as prizes may be roughly handled, given away without care instructions, and end up depressed, lethargic, and alone in a cramped bowl, where many die within days. Stevens shepherded the bill from start to finish, when a majority vote from councilors at a hearing passed it into law.

“peta2 is recognizing Simone Stevens for her compassionate action and huge accomplishment in protecting sensitive fish from being handed out like trinkets,” says peta2 Senior Director Marta Holmberg. “She is proof that the younger generation is passionate, informed, and driven to make the world a more considerate place for all animals.”

peta2—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that fish form bonds, grieve, and experience fear, pain, and stress. Giveaways provide little to no instruction about their care, and people often put fish in untreated tap water that contains chlorine, which burns their gills and causes them to suffer and slowly die from suffocation. Others will even swallow them alive, which causes an agonizingly slow death as digestive enzymes burn the fish from the outside in. Fish who manage to survive often become victims of unintentional neglect, and many are discarded when people become tired of caring for them.

Stevens will receive a framed certificate and be featured on peta2’s website. For more information on ways that young people can help animals, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

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