PETA reached out to Nashville Predators fans via members of the media today, pleading with them to stop throwing catfish on the ice.
If you’re unaware, Nashville hockey fans have made it a tradition to lob catfish onto the rink of the Bridgestone Arena – and maybe in Pittsburgh – in celebration of all things that they feel is worth celebrating.
Also Read: 5 Crazy Things Hockey Fans Throw On The Ice
Ahead of this year’s NHL playoffs, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, aka PETA, are asking fish-tossing fans to opt out of throwing catfish corpses and instead choose a fabricated channel cat.
A letter sent by the animal welfare organization, along with a sample of the toy fish, reads:
Greetings from PETA.
The Nashville Predators are gearing up for the playoffs—and so is PETA! We’ll be at the first home playoff game with boxes full of free squeezable catfish toys, and enclosed you’ll find a sneak peek.
We’ll be giving these toys away to encourage fans to leave the real catfish off the ice. Fish are smart, social animals, and just like dogs, cats, and humans, they feel pain. They have distinct personalities, and they communicate with each other, form bonds, and can even recognize individual fish and remember past social interactions with them. We hope that going forward, “Smashville” will smash not just the competition but also cruelty to animals.
Here’s to a successful playoff season for fans and fish alike!
Vice President of Communications | PETA
PETA has weighed in previously on Predators’ fans fishy behaviour while thanking the Pittsburgh Penguins’ team and arena staff, after a fan was removed from the game for tossing a catfish onto the Penguins’ rink.
In a statement made at the time, PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman said, “Whether catfish or cat, it’s never acceptable to toss any sensitive, intelligent animal’s body onto the ice during a hockey game. PETA appreciates PPG Paints Arena’s swift action to eject the fan and have him charged with several crimes, which will remind all sports fans that this offensive behavior will not be tolerated. We trust that all NHL arenas will follow suit.”
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PETA also made a similar request to Predators’ management back in 2014. In a statement, PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien said “Like all animals, fish are sentient beings who feel fear and pain, and throwing fish—dead or alive—onto the ice is no more acceptable than throwing live or dead kittens onto the ice. PETA stands ready to rush the Predators a shipment of 1,000 plastic fish that fans could use to celebrate their team’s success without making light of cruelty to animals.”
More recently, PETA took issue with a few members of the Tennesee Titans who had attended a Predators playoff game in 2018 for chugging beer from the carcass of a catfish, sharing in the excitement of the crowd.
PETA described the event as “horrifying.”
Fans have been slow, thus far, to make the switch and if this tweet is any indication of things to come, we think they’ll remain the same for some time.