Media Centre

PETA to Channel 5: Marco Pierre White Can Scream, but the Fish He Cooks Can't

For Immediate Release:
5 June 2012

Contact:
Ben Williamson +44 (0)7525 411 733; BenW@peta.org.uk

London - Thanks to host Marco Pierre White, there will be plenty of screaming on Channel 5's new Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars - but for every meal prepared on the programme, there will be countless screams that go unheard: those of the fish whose bodies are cut up, cooked and plated. That's why PETA has sent a letter to Channel 5 asking for space to air the group's hard-hitting new anti-bullying TV spot, "Silent Scream", when the programme airs on 7 June. White's feud with PETA dates back to 2006 when he was quoted in news reports making snide comments about the animal rights group's fact-based assertion that fish are intelligent animals who feel pain. White also kills fish and other animals for "sport".

"Fish feel pain and fear, and they suffer when they are impaled, crushed, suffocated or cut open and gutted, all while they're still conscious", says PETA UK Manager Mimi Bekhechi. "It's never right to hurt others simply because they are weaker and can't speak up for themselves - regardless of what species they happen to be."

"Silent Scream" shows three scenes of bullying and violence - including two schoolchildren who beat and kick a smaller boy - each of which ends with a heartrending scream from the victim. In the final scene, a fish, slowly suffocating to death on a cutting board, gasps one last time and silently dies.

Biologists have found that fish develop relationships with each other and even grieve when their companions die. Some fish are capable of using tools, while others gather information by eavesdropping. These intelligent, sensitive animals are so good-natured that Dr Sylvia Earle, the world's leading marine biologist, said, "I wouldn't deliberately eat a grouper any more than I'd eat a cocker spaniel".

PETA is also encouraging its members to tweet links to the video to celebrity chefs, including White, Nigella Lawson, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, James Martin, Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal.