We’ll be on FOX my9 June 11th at 10pm and CBS Evening News next week! Now, heeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr’s PETA!
Dear Mr. Michael Paoli:
I’m writing from TeachKind, PETA’s humane-education division, which works with thousands of schools and teachers across the country to promote compassion for animals. We’re concerned after hearing that your seventh- and eighth-grade classes are considering killing and eating the tilapia that they’ve raised as part of a class project. I’m confident that you’re dedicated to setting a positive example and fostering empathy in your students, which is why we’re urging you to make the compassionate decision to save the tilapias’ lives by skipping the fish feast and instead offering your students a healthy cruelty-free meal for which no lives will have to be taken.
Fish are intelligent, sensitive animals, each with their own unique personality. And just like the cats and dogs we share our homes with, they do feel pain. Fish may not audibly scream when they’re impaled by hooks the way other animals might, but neurobiologists have long recognized that fish have nervous systems that comprehend and respond to pain, and scientists who study pain are in complete agreement that the fish pain response is virtually identical to that of mammals and birds. Fish communicate with each other, use tools, learn new things, have impressive long-term memories, and enjoy playing and having physical contact with other fish. These beings may not look like us, but we actually share many things in common.
Despite their cognitive abilities and capacity to feel pain, more than 6 billion fish are killed by the U.S. fish industry every single year, without any legal protection from cruel treatment. Almost half of all the fish consumed each year are raised on aquafarms—filthy, crowded enclosures where fish are forced to spend their entire lives. Many fish suffer from infections, disease, and debilitating injuries, and conditions on some farms are so horrendous that 40 percent of the fish may die before they’re killed and packaged for food. Those who do survive are starved before they’re sent to slaughter in order to reduce waste contamination of the water during transport. Then, these intelligent animals are impaled, crushed, suffocated, or cut open and gutted, all while they’re conscious.
With bullying and youth violence rampant in schools, it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity we can to teach a lesson about kindness. By letting these fish live out their lives peacefully, you could teach your students to show compassion toward animals rather than callousness. TeachKind would be happy to provide your classes with delicious vegan fishless filets for your students to enjoy at their summer barbecue in lieu of the tilapia—an option that all parties involved would feel good about. We’re also available to send along free materials, host classroom presentations via Skype, and assist you in your efforts to teach students about eating ethically and demonstrating kindness to animals in any way possible.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon!
TeachKind Coordinator, PETA