Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
PETA has done what it does best and sent the internet wild with its most recent billboard, which suggests not so subtly that eating fish is the same as eating a cat.
Yup, the vegan animal activist group has sparked criticism over a recently campaign, which urges people to “respect all life” and attempts to call out the hypocrisy behind people’s decisions to eat some animals over others.
The billboard, which was spotted in Cleethorpes in North East Lincolnshire, shows a fishmonger holding up a dead fish with a smile on their face.
However, the fish then turns into a cat, making a rather pointed dig.
“Sea things in a different light. Respect all life. Go vegan,” the billboard reads.
The fact the billboard was placed in Cleethorpes is likely no coincidence, seeing as must of the UK’s fish processing industry is based there and over 5,000 people are employed in the industry.
According to the BBC, the reaction from passers by hasn’t been positive, with one describing the ad as “sick,” and adding: “It’s a cat. You don’t eat a cat.”
Meanwhile, a man said the advert had the opposite effect to that intended by the animal rights charity.
“I’m reminded I’m having fish and chips today,” he said, when asked how it impacted him.
Jennifer White, from PETA, explained that the poster is meant to “remind people that all animals deserve protection”.
She went on to note that the fishing industry was the “biggest killer of animals on the planet”.
“We really want to get people thinking about how fish have the exact same capacity to feel pain and suffer as a cat and a dog would,” she said.
“This actually all comes down to speciesism, which is the misguided belief that some species are more important than others – and this is how humans justify mistreating animals.”
“Fish share knowledge and have long memories as well as cultural traditions,” PETA adds in a statement, going on to say they feel pain just like other animals.
There is still debate in the scientific community about the degree of pain and fear fish feel in comparison to other animals, but either way, do you agree with PETA’s approach?