New PETA Billboard And Website Question Size Of Anglers’ Rods

For Immediate Release:
21 July 2010

Alice Barnett +44 (0) 20 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

Aberdeen, Scotland – With the erection of a new billboard and launch of a new website, PETA is asking if there’s anything to the theory that, just as hunters like big guns, anglers might favour long rods to compensate for coming up short in their shorts. The billboard, which can be seen at 2 Great Northern Road in Aberdeen, hits anglers below the belt – but for a good cause. It shows a man with a fishing rod extended from his lower midsection, and the caption reads, “Are You Overcompensating for Something?” Timed to coincide with National Fishing Month, the new PETA billboard and website expose fishing as a “bully sport”.

The website takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what might be on anglers’ minds when they reach for their rods. According to a study reported on, men who feel a threat to their masculinity engage in more behaviour that is considered manly and are more likely to report feeling hostile than men who feel secure in their masculinity. With features such as intimate testimonials from anglers and their partners, an interactive poll and a ruler for measuring one’s manhood, the site examines the link between rod envy and the urge to hurt and kill those who are unable to defend themselves.

Studies show that there is no escaping the fact that fish feel pain. Their mouths are full of sensitive nerve endings, and even fish who are released after being caught often die from infected injuries, loss of their protective coating and stress. A review of more than 500 research papers showed that fish are smart, have long-term memories and can tell time, use tools and even build structures. An Oxford University scientist found that fish learn faster than dogs, and University of Edinburgh biologist Culum Brown said, “In many areas, such as memory, [fish’s] cognitive powers match or exceed those of ‘higher’ vertebrates, including non-human primates”.

“A man who tortures and kills a fish must be trying to prove something”, says PETA’s Special Projects Coordinator, Abi Izzard. “It takes a small man to call an attack on a defenceless animal a ‘sport’.”

For more information and to view the billboard, please visit PETA’s website or click here