SPAREFish! Will Local Town Display PETA’s Fish Empathy Quilt?

For Immediate Release:
December 11, 2023

Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382

Spearfish, S.D.

Today, PETA sent a letter to the mayor of Spearfish, John Senden, offering to provide the group’s first-of-its-kind Fish Empathy Quilt for the city to display in order to counteract its violent name and promote friendliness to fish instead. PETA’s quilt has made a splash nationwide, including during a monthlong stay at Eureka City Hall in California—and if Spearfish agrees to be the quilt’s next stop, PETA will arrange for a delivery of delicious fish-free meals and an appearance from its crowd-pleasing Tiffany Tuna mascot at the festive unveiling event.

PETA's fish empathy Quilt

Panels from PETA’s Fish Empathy Quilt. Credit: PETA

“Fish are smart, empathetic, and playful beings who deserve the same consideration and care as humans, dogs, and every other animal,” says PETA Senior Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes Spearfish will champion this quilt, pay tribute to the billions of aquatic animals killed each year in the fishing industry, and tip the scales toward humane vegan meals.”

The Fish Empathy Quilt measures more than 300 square feet and is composed of more than 100 unique, handcrafted squares from PETA members and supporters, including cartoonist Harry Bliss and oceanographic explorer and film producer Jean-Michel Cousteau.

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

PETA’s letter to Senden follows.

December 11, 2023

The Honorable John Senden

Mayor of Spearfish

Dear Mayor Senden:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters worldwide—with a suggestion that would show everyone that Spearfish is fish-friendly, despite its name. We understand that the city is named after the creek that runs through it and that the earliest residents used to spear fish in the clear waters, giving the creek its name. Nowadays, there’s no need to fish for food and many fish-friendly vegan varieties of everything from fish sticks and shrimp to caviar can be speared right off a supermarket shelf or hooked from a freezer case. Therefore, we’d love to loan a thought-provoking item to display at Spearfish City Hall or elsewhere in the city: the world’s first and only Fish Empathy Quilt. It has been well received wherever it has been cast ashore and has made quite a splash in towns from California to Alaska. So, will you agree to having it land in Spearfish?

The quilt is a vibrant, creative depiction of marine life. It features more than 100 unique squares contributed by individuals from across the country, including a few famous ones, such as cartoonist Harry Bliss and French oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau. Collectively, they’ve created an artwork that continues to grow as people’s sensitivity to the plight of animals increases. It consists of six sections of varying dimensions, which can be displayed separately or clipped together as one large exhibit (over 300 square feet).

Ever more people are concerned these days about the unsustainable global fishing industry, and the market for vegan seafood is projected to reach $1.6 billion in the next 10 years. An ocean of evidence demonstrates that fish suffer enormously when they’re dragged from their homes in nets or impaled. Just like dogs and cats—and humans, for that matter—fish have individual personalities. They communicate with each other, show affection by gently rubbing against one another, and are extremely resourceful and intelligent. More and more people now realize that fish deserve to be treated with kindness, not cruelty. PETA’s Fish Empathy Quilt beautifully reflects this new awareness.

In November, three of the quilt’s panels were exhibited outside the Council Chambers at Eureka City Hall in California. Spearfish would be the quilt’s perfect next stop! We’d be delighted to offer delicious fish-free meals and even a visit from our mascot Tiffany Tuna, who could hand out free coloring books and crayons to children at the unveiling or launch. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.