PETA Asks for Opportunaty to Turn House Shaped Like Fishing Reel Into Fish-Empathy Learning Center
For Immediate Release:
July 29, 2016
With an unusual Catoosa home shaped like a fishing reel on the market for $6 million, PETA sent a letter to the real estate agents this morning proposing that the space be donated outright or sold to the group for a modest price in order to be turned into a fish-empathy museum with interactive educational displays. The 12,620-square-foot home was built in 1970 for the founder of a Tulsa-based fishing tackle company, but times have changed—and if the real estate agents accept PETA’s proposal, it will become a space to foster respect for and understanding of fish as well as the reasons why they should never be eaten or tormented for “sport.”
In its proposal, PETA notes that the museum would feature exhibits about fish intelligence and behavior, a café that serves faux-fish sticks and other tasty vegan dishes, the opportunity to take selfies with PETA mascot Tiffany Tuna, and free plush toy fish for all visitors ages 12 and under emblazoned with the tagline “Fish Are Friends, Not Food!”
“A fishing reel–shaped space is the perfect place for an empathy museum, where people could learn to appreciate fish and understand why we shouldn’t snag, suffocate, and slaughter them,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “The more that people learn how clever, social, and sensitive fish are, the less likely they’ll be to stick a hook or a fork in them.”
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to homeowners Bill and June York follows.
July 29, 2016
Bill and June York
c/o Mark and Janet Youngblood, Realtors
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors
Dear Mr. and Mrs. York:
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 5 million members and supporters, in response to the listing of your iconic Catoosa home designed by architect Cecil Stanfield. Since it’s shaped like a fishing reel, we’re interested in the possibility of converting it into an empathy museum, where people could come to learn about fish and appreciate them, rather than using rods and reels to snag, suffocate, and slaughter them.
Visitors to the museum would be able to tour this historic property while also learning that fish are intelligent, sensitive animals who feel pain and fear just as dogs and cats do. An ocean of evidence demonstrates that fish suffer enormously when dragged from their homes in large fishing nets or impaled with metal hooks by anglers. Biologists have found that fish develop relationships with each other and show affection by gently rubbing against one another. Fish have individual personalities, talk to each other, and even grieve when their companions die. They are capable of remembering past social interactions that they had with other fish, and they recognize individual humans. Some fish are even capable of using tools, while others gather information by eavesdropping.
PETA would use this historic home to install interactive educational displays to help the public—particularly, children—learn facts about fish and why they should never be eaten or tormented for “sport.” We would open a Fish Empathy Café in the kitchen that serves faux-fish sticks or fish-free fillets and other tasty vegan dishes. Guests could take selfies with our very own Tiffany Tuna, and every visitor 12 and under would be given a free plush toy fish emblazoned with the tagline “Fish Are Friends, Not Food!”
Will you donate this home to PETA or sell it to us for a very modest amount so that it could be established as a local museum that inspires visitors to practice compassion? We realize that this would be a hefty donation, but the building would go on to benefit the victims of fishing—which include not only fish but also other aquatic animals who are injured or killed by discarded fishing tackle. You would also be able to take a tax donation for the value of the property, the iconic design would forever be preserved, and we would put up a plaque with your names on it in honor of your endowment. Please let me know your thoughts on this matter. Thank you.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk