Good ‘Vriday’! PETA Urges Catholic Leaders to Embrace Fish-Free Lent

For Immediate Release:
March 31, 2022

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – Because Catholics often opt to eat fish on Good Friday—which is on April 15 this year—PETA’s Christian outreach division, LAMBS (“Least Among My Brothers and Sisters” from Matthew 25:50), has sent a proposition of nonviolence to cardinals who lead U.S. archdioceses. PETA asks them to encourage their congregations to abstain from eating any animals during Lent and celebrate a vegan Good Friday—or Good Vriday—by choosing foods that are kind to all animals, including those who swim. LAMBS offers easy vegan recipes for Lent on its website, a free vegan starter kit containing tips, and other resources.

“In the eyes of God, every individual deserves to live free from harm, yet fish used for food suffer greatly as they’re violently killed,” says PETA Vice President Christina Matthies. “PETA is calling on these faith leaders to inspire their flocks to embrace Good Vriday by going vegan on that day at least.”

Animals are not mentioned in Genesis 1:29, which states that God provides “every seed-bearing plant” and “every tree whose fruit contains seed” as food for humans. Fish are intelligent and sensitive beings who experience pain, think, and deserve life. They share knowledge, have cultural traditions, and communicate with one another using low-frequency sounds that human ears can’t hear. Some woo potential partners by singing to them or creating intricate works of art. Despite all this, more fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined. They’re impaled, crushed, suffocated, or cut open and gutted—often while they’re still conscious. In addition, 38 million tons of other aquatic animals are unintentionally caught each year to satisfy humans’ demand for seafood.

Recipients of the letter include Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago; Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston; Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of Boston; Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, D.C.; and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, archbishop of Newark. PETA Germany and PETA U.K. have also sent letters to German and Irish Catholic Church leaders, respectively.

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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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind