PETA Asks Greenpeace to End Its ‘Sustainable Seafood’ Initiative and Join New, 2021-Style ‘Save the Whales’ Campaign

For Immediate Release:
October 25, 2021

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382


Greenpeace’s “sustainable seafood” initiative threatens whales’ food supply, pollutes their ocean homes, and kills hundreds of thousands of whales, dolphins, and porpoises each year when they become tangled in lost or abandoned fishing gear—so PETA is asking Greenpeace to drop it. PETA is also inviting Greenpeace to join its launch of a 2021 version of the environmental group’s own landmark 1975 “Save the Whales” campaign—a new, progressive take on the original, calling on everyone to stop eating fish altogether and let them enjoy their aquatic life, unmolested. This afternoon, the group sent a letter to Greenpeace Co-Executive Director Annie Leonard with its proposal.

In the letter, PETA points out that accidental deaths in fishing gear are the single biggest threat to the survival of many of the world’s 86 cetacean species and that eating sea life contributes to the decimation of ocean ecosystems—no matter how the animals are caught.

“Just as no one opposed to whaling would ever eat whale meat, today’s environmentalists don’t eat fish,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA hopes to work with Greenpeace to advocate for a truly sea animal–friendly, truly respectful, and truly sustainable, vegan way of eating.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Leonard follows.

October 25, 2021

Annie Leonard

Co–Executive Director

Greenpeace USA

Dear Ms. Leonard:

Greetings from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). We appreciate your work! I’m writing to give you a heads-up that we’re launching a “Save the Whales” campaign, with our focus on the greatest threat to whales—the fishing industry. I’m sure you don’t need to be told that more than 300,000 whales and dolphins die after becoming tangled in fishing gear each year. As a result, we are urging people to stop eating fish—all fish. In light of this and Greenpeace’s own mission to “promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future,” we have a request: Please, will you reconsider your “sustainable seafood” campaign, as the only thing sustained is the suffering of marine life, and urge your supporters to go vegan? The facts are indisputable.

The world’s leading cetacean scientists believe that the accidental death of whales, dolphins, and porpoises in fishing gear is the single biggest threat to the survival of many of the world’s 86 cetacean species. Discarded fishing gear causes tremendous pain and prolonged suffering for whales who become stuck in fishing nets and can be dragged for miles, restricting their movement and exhausting them until they drown. However, on Greenpeace’s “Save the Whales” page, none of the three listed actions that people can take to save these animals mentions ending the consumption of fish and other sea life—we’d love to see you add that right away. This is crucial information for people to know if they actually want to help whales, and not promoting this knowledge deprives your supporters of an important step that they can take to save lives.

We greatly appreciate Greenpeace’s policy of having only plant-based meals for events, but the promotion of “sustainable seafood” and fishing sends the message that it’s somehow acceptable to go fishing and eat fish, when it isn’t. We know that major food companies and corporations use buzzwords like “humane” and “sustainable” to attract people who care about animals and the environment when, in reality, these industries are doing harm, not good. Eating any fish or other sea life contributes to the decimation of the ocean’s ecosystem.

The only sustainable kinds of seafood are vegan versions of the originals. That’s why the vegan seafood industry is booming and ever more people are eating fishless filets from brands such as Gardein and Good Catch, meatless tuna from Worthington and Jinka, and so much more—instead of sea life. With so many delicious vegan seafood options available today, it’s simple for members of both our organizations as well as other members of the pubic to opt for healthy, humane cruelty-free options that don’t harm whales or anyone else. It’s also the ethical choice for any environmentalist and anyone who does not want to be cruel.

PETA would be happy to help by offering resources for your website and more. We do hope Greenpeace will embrace this move.


Tracy Reiman

Executive Vice President

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