No One—Including Fish—Should Suffer for Recreation, Group Says, and Invites Anglers to Ship Their Fishing Gear to PETA
For Immediate Release:
September 28, 2020
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
New York – Today, PETA sent a letter extending sympathy to Luis Castoire—the man who caught a human corpse while fishing in Central Park’s Harlem Meer last week—and encouraging him to give up fishing for good.
“Every fish is an individual,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is asking Mr. Castoire to open his heart and extend compassion to fish, who suffer when speared through the mouth and yanked out of their aquatic homes.”
PETA invites anyone who has made the connection that it’s just as disturbing to catch a fish’s body on the end of a hook as it is to hook a human corpse to send their fishing gear—along with a written pledge to stop fishing and a contact number—to PETA at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to Castoire follows.
September 28, 2020
Dear Mr. Castoire,
I’m writing in response to reports that you recently hooked a human corpse while fishing in Central Park. We are so sorry that you had that awful experience, and you sound like a sensitive person. That’s why we’re getting in touch. We’d like to encourage you to consider that fish are underrated, smart, sensitive animals with complex nervous systems who also don’t want to end up dead—and who definitely don’t want to experience the pain of being hooked through their mouths, which contain many nerve endings. This may not be something you’ve thought too much about, but these days, there are books about the way fish experience pain. There has been a lot of recent research about fish, and they are worthy of our esteem. Please, will you consider not fishing anymore?
Whether people think about it or not, fish are sentient beings. As more information on fish pain receptivity has been in the news lately, it’s impossible to ignore that there’s something disturbing about actively hooking fish, letting them thrash and gasp for air as they suffocate, and gutting them, sometimes while they’re still alive. All this involves fear and torment for them—and even when they’re tossed back, they have been mutilated, and most of them still die slowly from their injuries and the trauma of being handled by some giant, alien creature.
Another thing to consider is that fishing doesn’t just hurt fish. Every year, anglers in the U.S. leave behind a trail of victims that includes countless birds, turtles, and other animals who sustain debilitating injuries after swallowing fish hooks or becoming entangled in fishing line, especially nylon filament. Derelict fishing gear damages marine habitats and entangles marine animals, too, leading to injury and death.
Eating fish is also completely unnecessary. It’s just something that many humans have gotten used to doing. We can get all the omega-3 fatty acids and protein we need from vegan sources, without any of the mercury, PCBs, or other toxins routinely found in fish flesh. With foods like Gardein’s Golden Fishless Filets, Sophie’s Kitchen’s Vegan Lobster Mac and Cheese, and dozens of other tasty vegan “fish” dishes, we can still enjoy the dishes that we love without the cruelty, toxins, and cholesterol and without causing harm and death to others.
I hope that upon reflection, you’ll agree that no one—regardless of species or circumstance—should suffer for recreation. We’d be delighted to send you some delicious vegan fish filets if you pledge to stop fishing. We think you’d enjoy them, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk