A small group of PETA protesters gathered at Stearns Wharf on Wednesday to protest fishing by handing out leaflets and hoisting attention-grabbing signs. Their message: fishing is wrong because fish feel pain and agony just as much as any other animal.
“Most people would never dream of trying to hook the family dog, but hooking a fish through the mouth and dragging it through the water is just as cruel as hooking the family dog and dragging it behind the car,” said Hayden Hamilton, a campaigner for PETA. “We just want people to make the connection that even though they’re not as familiar an animal as your cat or dog at home, that fish do feel pain. They do suffer, and we just want to want people to think twice about putting them on their plates.”
Two of the activists held signs that read, “Don’t Let Your Kids Become Hookers.” Aside from being a catchy play on words, this message was aimed at parents. “Nobody wants to set a bad example for their kids, but what parents don’t realize is that when they take their kids fishing, they are actually sending them the very dangerous message that it’s fun to torment and abuse animals,” Hamilton passionately explained.
This anti-fishing demonstration was only in Santa Barbara for the day. The activists are headed north to spread their message to Monterey and San Francisco in the coming days.