Will Pensacola Blue Wahoos Step Up to the Plate and Become ‘Sea Kittens’ for a Night?

PETA Asks Team to Show Respect for Fish With Curveball Name Change

For Immediate Release:
August 5, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Pensacola, Fla.

Today, PETA pitched an idea to the president of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos: Change the team’s name to the “Pensacola Sea Kittens” for a night to help fans recognize that, just like the cats who share our homes, the blue wahoo and all other fish are important, have unique personalities, and deserve respect. PETA is also suggesting that the team stop serving “sea kittens” (fish) as stadium food in favor of delicious vegan fare, such as Gardein’s Fishless Filets.

“When it comes to having a central nervous system and the ability to feel pain, a fish is a cat is a dog is a ballplayer,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “This game-changing move would position these players as champions of sea life, and PETA stands ready to assist should the team step up to the plate.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Pensacola Blue Wahoos President Jonathan Griffith follows.

August 5, 2019

Jonathan Griffith
Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Dear Mr. Griffith,

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 many sports fans and fans of your team—with a pitch that we hope will score a home run for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Would you please consider changing your team name for one night to the Pensacola Sea Kittens to support the idea that the blue wahoo and other fish are worthy of respect, just as are the cats many of us love and share our homes with? This request may seem to come out of left field, so let me explain.

It’s now well established that fish are sentient beings who can enjoy life as well as experience pain and fear, just like cats (and baseball players). In recent years, studies from such institutions as the universities of Liverpool and Oxford have shown that fish have unique personalities, can count and even tell time, are fast learners and retain memories for a long while, and can think ahead. And these “kittens of the sea” love to play—even “playing ball” with objects that they find. They develop relationships with each other and show their affection.

Language experts and social historians know that words have power. “Fish” can mean smart, sensitive animals, but it can also be used as a verb, meaning to impale those same animals with a hook, pull them out of their watery homes into a hostile environment where they can’t breathe, and then let them slowly suffocate or gut them while they’re still alive. By contrast, it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to hook animals called “sea kittens” through their sensitive lips—which are full of nerve endings—yanking them out of the water and leaving them to suffocate slowly. In our time, no one—regardless of species or circumstance—should suffer when the options are abundant and better choices can be made that help both other individuals and the planet.

We hope you’ll consider this opportunity to step up to the plate for all sea kittens, including the blue wahoo. We’d also like to urge you to stop serving sea kittens at the ballpark and encourage fans to enjoy animal-friendly options such as Gardein’s Golden Fishless Filets. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration, and best of luck this season.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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