For Immediate Release:
January 11, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Virginia Beach, Va. – To coincide with endangered humpback and fin whales’ winter migration—and because Virginia has been named one of the best spots for whale watching in the country—PETA is making a splash with an appeal reminding people that fishing gear kills 300,000 whales and dolphins annually and offering a solution: “Don’t Eat Fish.”
In the fishing industry, even whales are callously referred to as “bycatch,” a euphemism for nontarget animals who are caught or become tangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales can be dragged for miles, growing more and more exhausted, until they drown. PETA notes that death by fishing gear is the single-biggest threat to the survival of many of the world’s 86 cetacean species and that eating fish contributes to the decimation of ocean ecosystems. According to a new study, between 60% and 80% of right and humpback whales have been entangled at least once in their lifetime.
“Eating vegan not only prevents fish from suffocating and suffering for a fleeting taste of flesh but also protects the majestic whales who cross Virginia’s waters,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA urges everyone to honor aquatic animals, large and small, by leaving them off their plates.”
More fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined. Fish feel pain as acutely as mammals, have long-term memories, and sing underwater—yet they are impaled, crushed, suffocated, or cut open and gutted, all while conscious.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—points out that many faux-fish options are available, including Gardein’s F’sh Filets, Good Catch’s plant-based seafood, New Wave Foods’ plant-based shrimp, and Sophie’s Kitchen’s Vegan Crab Cakes.
PETA has placed the ad at 333 Waterside Dr. and on 16 Southside buses that cover Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach.