"Tiffany Tuna" stood on the sidewalk outside Max's Oyster Bar on Farmington Ave. at lunchtime Tuesday, holding a sign proclaiming, "I'm a Fish – Not a Fillet," and attempting to draw notice from passersby on the busy West Hartford Center sidewalk.
PETA Campaigner Hayden Hamilton stood with Tiffany, waving a sign that said "Fish Are Not Swimming Vegetables," and handing out literature.
Hamilton, who is based in Los Angeles and staged a similar demonstration in Albany on Monday, said PETA chose the location because both Max's Oyster Bar and Ichiro serve a great deal of fish.
"We're hoping that [restaurant patrons] choose vegetables, like veggie tempura rolls. We want to encourage the businesses and restaurant owners to start offering more of those options," said Hamilton.
She said that PETA is trying to get people to relate to "who" is on their plate. Citing a PETA advisor, Dr. Donald Broom, who claims that fish have a pain system that is virtually the same as that in birds and mammals, Hamilton said, "If they understand that fish feel pain and suffer, they will be less likely to stick their fork into them."
PETA's literature, which Hamilton was handing out, states five reasons not to eat fish, including: fishing is hurtful to the fish, fish contain toxic bacteria and poisons such as mercury, fishing is bad for the environment, fish are smart and sensitive, and fish deserve protection just like other animals.
Hamilton said that most of the people she speaks with "are really receptive. They agree."