Let’s Modernize the Mullet Toss With a Fun Fake-Fish Throw and a Vegan Lunch on PETA

For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2024

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Pensacola, Fla.

Today, PETA sent a letter to John McInnis III, co-owner of The Flora-Bama Lounge, Package, & Oyster Bar, urging him to bring a wave of compassion to this year’s Flora-Bama Mullet Toss by replacing the dead fish typically tossed across state lines with realistic, reusable rubber ones—which PETA will donate. The group is also offering to cater the event with tasty vegan fish sandwiches that spare animals a violent death and don’t come with the mercury, iodine, sewage, and other contaminants that real fish contain.

Credit: PETA

“Every fish whose body is treated like a hacky sack at this event was once an individual who had a life precious to them, swam free, had feelings, and didn’t want to die,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA wants to help modernize the moment with fabulous fake fish that no one had to die for.”

More fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined. They slowly suffocate or are crushed to death when they’re yanked out of the oceans in huge nets, and the stomachs of those who survive are cut open on the decks of fishing boats while they’re still alive. Every person who goes vegan saves the lives of nearly 200 aquatic animals and other sentient beings each year.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to McInnis follows.

April 22, 2024

John McInnis III


The Flora-Bama Lounge, Package, & Oyster Bar

Dear Mr. McInnis:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including hundreds of thousands across Florida and Alabama—with a fintastic idea to modernize the Flora-Bama Mullet Toss: We would never be so frank as to suggest that only a lout throws a trout or only a sod throws a cod … but, well, there is, as you know, a certain yahoo stigma attached to this event, something we can cure. What if you make it all-inclusive—yup, even welcome vegans to enjoy the moment—by using fancy rubber fish instead of smelly, decomposing real ones? If you agree, we’ll donate reusable fake fish for you to hand out and cast a tray of tasty vegan fish sandwiches your way for you to sell or give to participants.

It’s no toss-up: Whether some people like to think about it or not, fish—like you, me, and all other animals—have distinct personalities and experience fear, pain, and affection. Studies show that fish can recognize themselves in mirrors and photographs, are self-aware, and communicate with each other using complex sounds. Let’s face it: Every fish thrown by a Flora-Bama Mullet Toss participant was an individual who suffered greatly and was violently slaughtered before being used in this disrespectful way.

We’re not here to confishcate the fun: Throwing a rubber or plastic fish, rather than a dead one, would be as fun, challenging, and enjoyable but also positive. A first-ever fish-friendly fling could even lure our mascot Freeda Fish to line up to get in on the act. Will you please mullet over?

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to your response.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk


Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.