To shine a light on the billions of fish and other aquatic animals who are abused and killed by humans every year for food and “sport,” PETA members and supporters have created the world’s first Fish Empathy Quilt. More than 100 squares have already been created by kind people across the country, and we want to keep it growing!
Who Creates the Squares?
Each square so far has been handmade by PETA members and supporters from around the world. Many participants also submitted touching stories about why they no longer eat or catch fish, including the following:
A Girl Scout troop from Austin, Texas, submitted several patches. The troop members were inspired by a discussion with a former commercial fisher—who had since gone vegetarian—about the damage that fishing does to animals and the environment.
A quilter from Winnipeg, Manitoba, shared a story concerning how she and her grandfather stopped fishing because of the cruelty involved. They found other ways to spend quality time together instead.
Several quilters made patches that bear the PETA slogan that Finding Nemo made famous: “Fish Are Friends, Not Food!”
Why Make a Fish Empathy Quilt?
Billions of fish are killed each year so that people can eat their flesh, while millions more are ripped from their homes for “fun” by anglers. The quilters wanted to come together to make the statement that fish deserve compassion because they’re intelligent animals who feel pain.
Consider the following:
Fish have nervous systems that register and respond to pain. Scientists tell us that fish’s brains and nervous systems closely resemble our own and that fish are just as able to feel pain as cats or dogs.
Fish are intelligent animals who observe, learn, use tools, and form sophisticated social structures. They also have impressive long-term memories.
Fish talk to each other with squeaks, squeals, and other low-frequency sounds that humans can hear only with the help of special instruments. Some fish even woo their potential partners by singing to them!
Some fish tend well-kept gardens, build nests, and collect rocks for building hiding places where they can rest.
Scientists in the European Union have listed lobsters in the same class as dogs and cats when it comes to their capacity for suffering.
Octopuses are very intelligent. They use tools, like making homes out of coconut shells. An octopus named Rambo even learned how to use a camera!
Help Us Grow the Fish Quilt!
If you’re a kind crafter who would like to help us expand the Fish Empathy Quilt, please send us a panel! Mail your fish-friendly creation (measuring 17 inches by 17 inches with an additional ¼-inch seam allowance around the design) to:
Fish Empathy Quilt,
501 Front St.,
Norfolk, VA 23505.
Together, we can create a lasting piece of art that highlights the many ways in which fish are our friends, not food!