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What?! You mean fish aren’t swimming vegetables? Oh, right—fish are friends, not food. I grew up in a family full of meat-eaters, though, and they didn’t understand that fish are animals too! Most of us don’t really think about it, but fish are smart and very interesting animals with their own personalities—just like the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes. However, scientists agree that the pain response in fish is basically identical to the pain response system in mammals and birds—meaning it hurts like heck to be hooked in the face and yanked out of their natural environment, just as it would if someone did it to you.
Not only that, fish often live in water that is so gross, you wouldn’t dream of drinking it! But if you’re eating fish, you’re eating this toxic crap—seafood is the number one cause of food poisoning in the United States. And here’s the thing: The poop that is in most meats carries dangerous bacteria, like E. coli, that can kill you or at least make you very sick. So when we eat fish, we are exposing ourselves to potential illnesses and dangerous chemicals—gross.
So here’s the deal for this fishin’ mission—we need people to understand that fish want to live as much as everyone else does. We’ve developed a four-step program to help our fishy friends.
1) Download and print this tear-off flier.
2) Make sure you cut the little tabs so that it’s easy for people to tear them off. Tear off the ones that are marked, too, to get the ball rolling.
3) Post these fliers everywhere—in your classroom; outside your locker; at grocery stores, libraries, and record stores; and even on your fridge (all with permission, of course).
4) Once you do this, submit a report to let us know where you posted the fliers!