For Immediate Release:
May 24, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Dallas – Out of concern for Ariel’s friends under the sea, PETA Kids sent a letter this morning to Luis Olloqui, the CEO of Dallas-based Cinépolis USA, urging him to remove fish dishes from Cinépolis menus while The Little Mermaid is playing in theaters and year-round. The group notes that the film’s star—Halle Bailey as Ariel—is vegan and that fish-free dishes benefit the planet in addition to sparing animals violent deaths.
“Serving fish during The Little Mermaid is akin to serving poodle burgers at a dog show or elephant steaks at the zoo,” says PETA Senior Director of PETA Kids Marta Holmberg. “Ariel would recoil in horror at the idea of eating her aquatic animal friends, and PETA is urging Cinépolis to replace its sea animal dishes with delicious faux-fish options.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—offers a free vegan starter kit on its website. For more information about the harmful seafood industry and vegan eating, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Olloqui follows.
May 24, 2023
CEO, Treasurer, and Board Member
Dear Mr. Olloqui:
Greetings from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, and PETA U.S. is the largest animal rights organization in the world. I’m writing with a suggestion ahead of the opening of The Little Mermaid—please remove Ariel’s sea animal friends from Cinépolis menus, at least while the film is playing in theaters.
Serving fish during The Little Mermaid is akin to serving poodle burgers at a dog show or elephant steaks at the zoo. Halle Bailey, who portrays Ariel in the film, is vegan, and this move would not only be a wonderful tribute to her but also honor one of the themes of the movie—that fish like Flounder, crabs like Sebastian, and all of Ariel’s other aquatic friends belong in the ocean, not on our plates.
Some of the most widespread fishing methods include the use of long lines and gill nets, which kill hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, birds, sharks, and other “nontarget” marine animals every year in U.S. territories alone. Marine animals feel pain and fight for their lives, just as you and I would. The cruel practice of commercial fishing lures or traps animals and hooks them, leaving them to drown or bleed to death, sometimes after struggling for days. Additionally, scientists estimate that more than 650,000 marine mammals—including dolphins, porpoises, and whales—are seriously injured or killed every year by commercial fishing practices.
By continuing to offer the fabulous vegan Beyond Burger and nixing the bodies of Ariel’s friends and family, Cinépolis could drive home the movie’s prevailing theme: love and respect for all. May we please hear that you’ll halt seafood sales at least while The Little Mermaid is in theaters? We’d be happy to provide recommendations for delicious vegan seafood options you could feature on your menu, instead. Thank you for your consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.
Very truly yours,
Senior Director of PETA Kids