For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2021
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Martinsburg, W.Va. – “I’m ME, Not MEAT.” That’s the message from the fish who appears in PETA’s new billboard across the street from a local Long John Silver’s, encouraging the company to become the first seafood chain to offer one of the latest developments in healthy and sustainable food: vegan fish.
PETA is ramping up its efforts following the release of the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy, which examines the global fishing industry and challenges the notion of “sustainable” fishing. The group has praised the film for explaining how humans’ actions cause widespread environmental destruction.
“Flaky, golden-brown vegan fish is exactly what Long John Silver’s needs to satisfy diners who know fish as sea life, not seafood,” says PETA Director of Campaigns Danielle Katz. “PETA’s billboard is a helpful reminder that behind every plate of fried fish or grilled shrimp is an animal who had a family and a personality.”
More fish are killed for food each year—billions in U.S. waters alone—than all other animals combined. These animals—who are now known to feel pain as acutely as mammals do, to have long-term memories, and to sing underwater—are impaled, crushed, suffocated, or cut open and gutted, all often while conscious. Aquafarms, holding thousands of fish prone to becoming infested with lice from being raised in filthy and cramped enclosures, create an environmental disaster.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that today many faux-fish options are available, including Gardein’s Golden Fishless Filets, Good Catch’s Plant-Based Tuna, New Wave Foods’ new plant-based shrimp, and Sophie’s Kitchen’s Vegan Crab Cakes.
The billboard is located at 2035 Edwin Miller Blvd.