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For Immediate Release:
July 23, 2001

Sean Gifford - 757-622-7382, ext. 1470
Bruce Friedrich - 0 208 870 3966, ext. 225

London/Norfolk - Anti-whaling charities are spitting mad about a new campaign from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)-"Eat the Whales," which is supported by a Web site, Throughout the week, as the International Whaling Committee holds its annual meeting, PETA activists will be distributing "Eat the Whales" leaflets, displaying a colorful "Eat the Whales" banner, and serving "whale meat" to nonvegetarians, pro- and anti-whalers alike.

Why is the world's largest animal rights organization suggesting that people who haven't stopped eating meat would cause less suffering if they ditched the chicken nuggets and haddock fillets in favor of whale whoppers? It is inarguable that meat-eaters consume billions of land and sea animals every year-a family's fish dinner can mean a death toll in the double digits, and two hungry nonvegetarians can polish off a whole battery chicken in a single sitting. But if whales were the sole source of flesh for U.K. meat-eaters, the number of meals that could be made from them would spare more than a billion animals (or in the U.S., more than 24 billion animals).

"Some people who will blubber about harpooning whales don't hesitate to snag buckets of chicken wings," says PETA's Vegan Campaign coordinator Bruce Friedrich. "We're all in favor of saving whales, but every nonvegetarian is responsible for far more suffering and deaths than any Japanese or Norwegian whaler."

Whales enjoy the vast freedom of the sea and the company of their families before they are harpooned and bled to death-unlike miserable factory-farmed animals. For most, their only venture outside the stench-filled factory farms is when they are kicked and prodded onto the trucks that haul them to slaughterhouses where the "lucky" ones will be rendered unconscious before they're gutted. In fact, animals are routinely still conscious as their necks are slit open, and many pigs and chickens are scalded alive in the feather- and hair-removal tanks. Fish don't fare any better, whether they are raised on filthy, overcrowded aquafarms or dragged from the ocean by huge trawlers, along with dolphins, turtles, sea birds, and other unintended victims, to slowly suffocate to death.

"We'd like everyone to save the whales and all the other animals by adopting a vegan diet, but meat addicts who won't kick their habit would cause a lot less misery by abandoning their cultural aversion to eating whales," says Friedrich.

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