For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2021
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Surrey, B.C. – This morning, PETA fired off a letter to Connor Yuen, CEO of Pontus Protein, urging him to cancel the company’s plans to establish an intensive fish farm at the facility in which it will grow duckweed (“water lentils”) for protein powder marketed to vegans.
“Vegans are as likely to buy lentils grown in an unhealthy, inhumane, and environmentally harmful fish farm as they are to buy corn grown in a slaughterhouse,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Fish factory farms are cruel and unsustainable, so we urge Pontus to rethink this disastrous plan.”
PETA notes that creating a fish factory is a particularly poor move for a company marketing itself as “sustainable.” Trout, the species Pontus plans to raise, are carnivorous and will likely be fed other fish, who will presumably be wild-caught—so Pontus would still be supporting the commercial fishing industry, which is responsible for the deaths of billions of animals (including “nontarget” species such as dolphins), the pollution of waterways, and the decimation of ocean ecosystems. Just like other animals raised in the industrial food system, farm-raised fish often suffer from deformities, injuries, and disease and are subjected to cruel slaughter methods such as suffocation, freezing, or their gills being cut.
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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Yuen follows.
March 8, 2021
Connor Yuen, CEO
Pontus Protein Ltd.
Dear Mr. Yuen:
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including nearly 450,000 in Canada, to urge Pontus Protein to cancel plans to put an intensive fish farm in the facility where you will be growing water lentils. Building an operation around a plant-based protein powder while slaughtering fish in the process will alienate the ethical consumer market that you’re hoping to appeal to. Harming animals won’t make Pontus a market disrupter—your company would simply be yet another contributor to a cruel and unsustainable future.
Fish suffer immeasurably when they’re confined in massive numbers inside cramped tanks and slaughtered for human consumption. Neurobiologists confirm that fish have nervous systems and pain receptors. Hundreds of scientific papers on fish intelligence show that these remarkable animals have impressive long-term memories, use tools, and woo potential mates. Even under ideal circumstances, injuries, infection, and disease run rampant in factory-farmed fish. And aquafarms are anything but sustainable, especially when they involve raising carnivorous species such as trout. Almost one-fifth of the world’s wild-caught fish are fed to farmed fish, exacerbating ocean depletion. The alternative—feeding soy to fish instead of eating the plants ourselves—leads to deforestation, agricultural runoff, and ocean dead zones.
Those “who value what they feed their bodies, and what we feed the earth” will condemn your support of factory-farmed fish, which is about as vegan as growing corn in a slaughterhouse. Regrettably, if Pontus Protein moves forward with its plan for a factory farm, we will have to list the water lentil supplements as “nonvegan” and inform our supporters that purchasing them supports cruelty to sensitive fish. Please reconsider. I look forward to hearing from you.
Executive Vice President