Westfield Mall Removes Vending Machine Fish Tank After PETA Appeal

Major Shopping-Center Owner Receives Fish-Shaped Chocolates in Thanks

For Immediate Release:
January 29, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Sarasota, Fla. – A box of fish-shaped vegan chocolates is on its way from PETA to Westfield Corporation in thanks for removing the “Feed the Fish—Make a Wish” vending machine tank—which allows visitors to pay to dispense food into the tank—from Westfield Sarasota Square mall. The company’s decision came after PETA pointed out that the exhibit supported the commercial pet trade—and that there was no way to ensure that the fish in the tank weren’t over- or underfed, both of which can be deadly for these animals.

“Scientists have shown that fish become depressed from a lack of space, stimulation, and adequate enrichment, just as humans do,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “More than 620 shopping malls nationwide now prohibit or restrict animal exhibits, and PETA is thanking Westfield for an on-trend decision that will spare fish needless suffering.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that fish communicate, form bonds, grieve, and are capable of experiencing fear, pain, and stress. But in the pet trade, they’re transported from dealers to pet stores inside tiny, cramped bags and containers that bear no resemblance to their natural habitats. Many die in transit.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind