MELBOURNE, Australia -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling on owners of the SeaWorld theme park on Australia’s Gold Coast to stop serving fish meat in its restaurants.
The Sydney Morning Herald has published a letter from PETA’s Australian Director of Campaigns, Jeff Hughes, in which he argues that serving "fish flesh" at an aquarium is like "serving poodle burgers at a dog show."
Hughes says it is in appropriate that SeaWorld, which is aimed at showing people how to respect and appreciate marine animals, is serving fish in its cafeterias. He says that the treatment of fish caught and raised for food should warrant cruelty-to-animal charges.
"Fish who are ripped from the ocean suffer from rapid decompression, which can cause their swim bladders to rupture, their eyes to pop out of their heads or their stomachs to be forced through their mouths," he writes.
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He also argues that eating fish poses a danger to patrons’ health because chemicals, sewage and other pollution in water may have been absorbed into the meat.
Speaking to AAP, another PETA activist, Claire Fryer said they wanted SeaWorld to act on their request immediately.
"They're [SeaWorld] asking people to appreciate these animals for their beauty and their intelligence and their sensitivity yet at the same time they're participating in their painful slaughter."
SeaWorld has declined to comment on the demands.