Eat The Whales’, Say Protesters

For Immediate Release:
20 July 2001

Bruce Friedrich – 0208 870 3966

London – It promises to be a whale of a dust-up when a ‘pig’ and a ‘cow’ (members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA) display a large colourful ‘Eat The’ banner and dish out ‘whale meat’ to meat-eaters protesting or attending the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in London.

Date:    Monday, 23 July        
Time:    8:30 to 11 a.m.
Place:   Hammersmith Roundabout, Hammersmith Road (near the Novotel, where the IWC is meeting)

Why is the world’s largest animal rights organisation suggesting that people who haven’t stopped eating meat would cause less suffering if they ditched the chicken nuggets and haddock fillets in favour of whale whoppers? It is inarguable that meat-eaters consume billions of land and sea animals every year—a family’s fish dinner can mean a death toll in the double digits, and two hungry non-vegetarians can polish off a whole battery chicken in a single sitting. But if whales were the sole source of flesh for UK meat-eaters, the number of meals that could be made from them would spare more than a billion animals (or in the US, more than 24 billion animals).
‘Some people who will blubber about killing of whales don’t hesitate to harpoon buckets of chicken wings on the way home,’ says PETA’s Vegan Campaign coordinator Bruce Friedrich. ‘We’re obviously in favour of saving whales, but if you’re not vegetarian, face facts: You are responsible for far more suffering and deaths than one Japanese or Norwegian whaler.’
Whales enjoy the vast freedom of the sea and the company of their families before they are harpooned and bled to death—unlike miserable factory-farmed animals. For most, their only venture outside the stench-filled factory farms is when they are kicked and prodded onto the lorries that haul them to slaughterhouses where the ‘lucky’ ones will be rendered unconscious before they’re gutted. In fact, animals are routinely still conscious as their necks are slit open, and many pigs and chickens are scalded alive in the feather- and hair-removal tanks. Fish don’t fare any better, whether they are raised in filthy, overcrowded aquafarms or dragged from the ocean by huge trawlers, along with dolphins, turtles, sea birds and other unintended victims, to slowly suffocate to death.
‘We’d like everyone to save the whales and all the other animals by adopting a vegan diet, but meat addicts who won’t kick their habit would cause a lot less misery by abandoning their cultural aversion to eating whales,’ says Friedrich. ‘It’s food for thought, isn’t it?’
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