'Finding Nemo' used by animal rights groups to attack fish as food
By Laine Welch For the Journal
(Web posted Monday, January 12, 2004 @ Alaska Journal)
KODIAK - Animal rights activists are using the popular animated film "Finding Nemo" to turn kids away from eating fish. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has won permission from Disney Studios to adapt a film poster from the movie that says, "Fish are friends, not food." It's being touted in brochures, six-foot-high fish creatures in parades and displays - even on Nemo pajamas. A spokesman said PETA hopes Nemo will teach children that fish belong in the ocean and not on dinner plates.
Another PETA ploy uses a sexy mermaid holding a sign that says "Don't batter me." PETA claims it is the largest animal rights group in the world, boasting some 600,000 members.
A check of PETA's Web site (fisharefriends.com or fishinghurts.com) reveals some of the most militant, anti-fish flack found anywhere. It says, for example, "the widely held public perception that seafood is healthy is one whopper of a fish story." The Web site tells kids "fish swim in poisonous places you'd never dream of having lunch." That "the flesh of fish is loaded with highly toxic chemical residues, and contain too much protein, fat and cholesterol to be healthy." (PETA even claims that salmon is 52 percent fat.) And that "no increased vigilance to reduce the slimy bacteria on their decomposing and pollution-laden bodies will improve their inadequate nutrition, or reduce the toxic chemicals laced throughout their flesh."
PETA even goes so far as to claim that women who often eat fish are "likely to give birth to sluggish infants with small heads and learning disabilities," and that nursing infants "consume half of their mothers' load of dioxin, PCB's and DDT from fish."
PETA also adds that fish "may not be cute and cuddly like puppies and kittens but they suffer and experience fear and pain in much the same way." PETA's campaign targets both recreational and commercial fishing to stop the "unnecessary torture of these animals by pointing out the cruelty of fishing and the health risks associated with eating fish." They sure can take the fun out of a great fish story. Sorry Nemo!
On another Nemo note: Trade reports say that children have a tendency to flush their pet fish down the drain to send them safely out into the sea, as shown in the movie. Manufacturers of sewage processing equipment continue to issue press releases telling kids that drain pipes do eventually lead to the ocean, but it is unlikely their fish will make it alive. They explain that the fish would first go through powerful machines that shred solids into tiny particles, followed by chlorine disinfecting.