PETA Asks Fisherman Who’s Boat Got Flipped by Tuna to Give Up Fishing

As Koloa, Hawaii, angler Anthony Wichman recovers from nearly drowning after a 230-pound ahi tuna he had stabbed in the eye with a fishing gaff pulled him into the water, PETA is encouraging him to make Friday’s fishing expedition his last. As the group writes in a letter sent to him today, fish experience pain and fear just as all animals—including humans—do, and as PETA’s “Silent Scream” video illustrates, fish suffer immensely when they are impaled, yanked out of the water, stabbed, and suffocated.

The fish that didn't get away!

The fish that didn’t get away!

“Mr. Wichman survived the terrifying ordeal of being caught on a line, pulled out of his natural environment, and deprived of oxygen—so we’re hoping he’ll now think of what all the fish, including his most recent victim, go through and not want to inflict that pain and fear on them,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes he will make the compassionate decision to go vegan, and we’re willing to help him.” PETA is sending him a vegan starter kit and recipes for faux-fish dishes.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Here is a copy of the letter:

July 23, 2013

Anthony Wichman
5496 Emi Rd.
Koloa, HI 96756

Dear Mr. Wichman:

I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including thousands across Hawaii. As a former fisher myself, I urge you to use your recent brush with death as an opportunity to put yourself in the place of the living being you were trying to kill and to consider the value of her life and others like her. As terrifying as it must have been for you to be nearly drowned by a 230-pound tuna, please consider how frightening and painful the experience must have been for the animal who was killed after a struggle that you initiated by punching a gaff through her back and then her eye while she began to suffocate after having been pulled out of the water. With all due respect, I ask you to do some soul-searching and abandon fishing for good.

As this tuna demonstrated, fish, like other animals, value their lives and don’t want to be killed. Studies show that fish have complex nervous systems and feel pain in much the same way as dogs and cats and we do.

Fishing causes immense physical and psychological suffering to fish, who have particularly sensitive mouths and lips that they use like we use our hands. Impaling a fish through the mouth and then dragging him or her out of the water is the equivalent of someone driving a hook through your hand and yanking your entire body weight into the water, where you wouldn’t be able to breathe. As PETA’s short video “Silent Scream” shows, even though fish cannot vocalize to express their pain and fear, there is no room for doubt that they suffer greatly when they are impaled, gaffed, gutted alive, or left to suffocate slowly.

Witnessing the struggle and suffocation of a bloody founder I yanked from the waters off Catalina during a teenage fishing trip made me recognize that fishing is, quite simply, a sadistic “pleasure” derived from another’s misery, and I hung up my rod for good. I sincerely hope that you will consider this point of view in the wake of your fight to the finish with the unfortunate tuna.

Kindest regards,

Dan Mathews
Senior Vice President

PETA Urges Criminal Investigation Following Death of 23 Big Island Cows

This morning, PETA sent a letter to Chief John Batiste of the Washington State Patrol urging him to open a criminal investigation into the deaths of at least 20 cows and the suffering of others after a cattle transport container fell from a truck being hauled for J & H Express on Interstate 90 in Seattle on Saturday. The animals were piled atop each other, covered with feces, and apparently deprived of veterinary care for up to six hours while crews righted the container and hauled the animals to Sunnyside, Wash.

In its letter, PETA points out that Washington law states that whoever recklessly or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal or fails to provide an animal he or she owns with necessary medical attention commits the offense of cruelty to animals in the second degree. PETA also notes a state animal transport law that may have been violated. In addition, the J & H Express driver was cited for traveling too fast and failing to secure his load.

“The terror and pain that these animals experienced as the container slid along the highway on its side and in the hours after the crash are difficult to imagine,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “Laws are in place to protect animals from this type of cruelty and negligence, and PETA is calling on the Washington State Patrol to hold everyone responsible for the suffering accountable.”

Photographs from the incident show the filthy conditions that the cattle were forced to endure inside the container.

PETA’s letter to Chief John Batiste of the Washington State Patrol follows.

 

October 17, 2012

 

Chief John R. Batiste
Washington State Patrol

 

Dear Chief Batiste,

I hope this letter finds you doing well. This communication serves as a request for the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to investigate and, as appropriate, bring cruelty-to-animals and unsafe-animal-transport charges against the person(s) responsible for the deaths and prolonged suffering of up to 70 cattle following the October 6, 2012, crash of a transport container on Interstate 90 in Seattle.

The container unhinged and slid 200 yards along the road when driver Nikolay Ivanovich Karavayev, 52, of Bellingham, Wash., rounded a curve while driving for J & H Express, Inc. Video of the gruesome scene shows struggling survivors kicking their limbs and hooves, which were stuck in the container’s grated sides, and the animals were apparently denied emergency veterinary care. WSP responders’ photographs show cattle piled atop one another and covered with feces. About three hours passed before the cattle—who had already endured many hours of transport from Hawaii—were driven three additional hours to Sunnyside, Wash. At least 20 of the cattle were evidently dead upon arrival. Karavayev was cited for traveling too fast and failing to secure his load. WSP personnel found that he “failed to lock down all four corners” of the container given that two of its locking pins “had no damage or marking on them.”

RCWA §16.52.207 provides that whoever recklessly or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering upon an animal or fails to provide an animal he or she owns with necessary medical attention, and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result, commits the offense of animal cruelty in the second degree. RCWA §16.52.080 provides that any person who willfully causes animals to be transported in a manner that jeopardizes their safety or that of the public is guilty of a misdemeanor.

None of the conduct described above illustrates the accepted husbandry practices used in the commercial raising or slaughtering of livestock that RCWA §16.52.185 protects from prosecution as cruel. For example, the American Meat Institute Foundation requires that slaughterhouses have emergency plans in place for animals involved in accidents, including unloading at alternate locations. Similarly, the Washington Dairy Products Commission requires that cattle be handled, moved, and transported in a manner that avoids unnecessary pain or distress. I hope you agree that this incident merits criminal investigation. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Dan Paden
Senior Research Associate
Cruelty Investigations Department

 

“When Pigs Fly”… To Hawaii

Looks like PETA is stepping up their war against pork again.

About nine months  ago, before I had a blog,  I reported on another site that PETA was launching a campaign against pork being shipped to Hawaii and some of the inhumane practices that were being done.

In a Press Release released today by The World Society for the Protection of Animals, it states the following:

Misleading labels on pork products are causing Hawaii residents and tourists to unwittingly participate in inhumane practices against animals

Stressed and exhausted from overcrowded and often filthy conditions, thousands of pigs endure a more than week-long journey from the mainland United States only to be slaughtered on arrival in Honolulu. In 2008, a total of 13,082 pigs were imported from California, Iowa, Montana and South Dakota for slaughter. The purpose of this inhumane and costly practice is to produce meat that can be sold to unsuspecting consumers as “Island Produced Pork.

I myself think this is just a re-release of another similar press release that was released earlier this year.

Many local media sources picked up the story after I first reported on it before I started my blog.

Here is just one of the previous articles on it by Honolulu Magazine:

Stephen Schildbach

Illustration: Stephen Schildbach

Next time you buy pork at the supermarket with the label “Island produced” you may want to know what that actually means.

In 1973, the state Department of Agriculture declared that this phrase could only be placed on pork that came from pigs actually raised in Hawaii. But in 2000, the law was repealed due to its unenforceability, which made it legal for supermarkets and retailers to place “Island produced” on pigs that had only been shipped to the Islands and slaughtered here…

More here