How to demonstrate your love of animals

Kill them, take off all your clothes, snuggle up nakedly with their corpses, and have someone take your picture and post it to the internet (nsfw!). This is one of those public service campaigns to promote conservation that I just don’t get. Do these celebrities realize the props they are holding are dead animals? Is this more about flaunting your skin than doing good?

This might be one rare case where the useless phrase “virtue signaling” might actually be appropriate, because they sure as heck aren’t doing anything productive.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    Human beings are often horrlible.
    BTW re “snuggling up nakedly” I found a proof we are NOT the pinnacle of evolution
    -that position clearly belong to naked mole rats. They defy a pretty basic law about mortality.
    “Naked mole rat found to defy Gompertz’s mortality law”
    Now , add bigger brains, and they will rule us short-lived primates like gods.

  2. zetopan says

    Like so many of the images suggest, and since they titled this “fish love”, does that mean that they are trying to mate with fish?

  3. says

    It’s weird and probably unhelpful as ads. But it’s not hypocritical and I can see how at least some of them might be useful as revenue generators. (The organization is against *over* fishing, not fishing).

    They are selling the images as posters for about 50 bucks and at least for Helena Boham Carter and the Tuna I can imagine a bunch of Tim Burton fanboys shelling out the cash for a copy.


  4. Ragutis says

    Mahi? Barracuda? I’m not sure about many of the rest of the species featured, but these two aren’t in any danger. A Cuda is a fun fish to catch and release, but AFAIK, outside of the Caribbean, few people eat barracuda, and then only small ones (they have a rep of carrying ciguatera) and Mahi are among the fastest growing and reproducing fish there are. They’re sexually mature in 6 months and can spawn several times a year. I can see a min/max limit on them: give the peanuts a chance to breed and let the big bulls and cows pass their genes along. I’m much more concerned about seeing swordfish so available commercially. I don’t think the population has recovered nearly enough to be sustainable in the long term. Maybe when we start seeing granders again on a regular basis, but that hasn’t happened since the days of Hemingway. On the opposite side of the issue, from what I hear, Goliath Grouper are practically becoming a plague on many reefs because they’ve rebounded so well, and by all means invasive Lionfish should be targeted with extreme prejudice. Lionfish are tasty. If you see it on the menu, order it. They’re decimating native fish populations on our southeastern/Gulf/Caribbean reefs and need to die. (And then grilled/broiled with lemon and butter, a pinch of Old Bay, and maybe some capers and or shallots) If you want a starter, go for those Tiger Shrimp that have invaded the GoM. At this point I doubt we can make a dent with either, but it’s worth a shot.

  5. says

    The photos are weird, but maybe it’s because of the nudity or that the animals are fish that this doesn’t strike me as being as ghoulish as photos of hunters with huge gleaming grins holding the corpse of the animals they’ve just gunned down.

  6. microraptor says

    Aren’t goliath grouper one of the only native predators that can eat lionfish? Also, according to the IUCN, both species of goliath grouper are still critically endangered.

  7. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Maybe they are only trying to protect mammals.
    Replace fur coats with fish scale coats?

  8. davidc1 says

    Sad to see Helena B C has got tattoos .The Photo studio must have stank to high heaven at the end of the shoot.

  9. cartomancer says

    I’m not so sure about the fish, but the demographics of the humans are kind of interesting. They seem to have female celebrities of all ages represented – from mid 20s and conventionally attractive up to the venerable Dame Judi Dench who is now in her 80s. But the male celebrities, of whom there are far fewer, are all elderly, wrinkled specimens in their 50s and beyond. The sort of people one would generally prefer to see behind considerably more fish.

    I’m not sure what message that sends, really. If we put aside the issue PZ raises for a second and go with their intended “we care about marine wildlife” message, then… what? Women of all ages can be keen on marine wildlife but the club is only for old men? Young men aren’t allowed or needed in the effort to stand up for the rights of fish?

  10. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    The point of the site is to inform about sustainability levels of fish. It’s not anti-fishing, but pro-responsible fishing. If you look below the pictures they give a sustainability rating for each fish, and a link to the Marine Conservation Society for more information.

    What that has to do with naked celebrities I can’t say.

  11. says

    Their policy page says that the fish in the pictures were commercially caught and are all eaten afterward. So there’s no hypocrisy as far as killing fish for no reason goes.

    Whether there’s any value to this as an awareness campaign I have no idea. I really wish more liberals would just come out and say that the solution to this kind of thing is not more “love”, it’s to force people who are screwing things up out of short-term greed to stop doing it.

  12. Daniel Dunér says

    It’s unethical to kill feeling individuals. It is indeed ghoulish to pose with the corpses of said individuals.

    I don’t get the constant fixation with whether other’s actions are hypocritical or not. There are plenty of bad things that aren’t hypocritical at all, but still exactly as bad anyway. Sometimes it seems like people believe hypocrisy to be the worst possible sin.

    Why not ask whether something is ethical? What the consequences are? What the underlying motivations and world view behind actions are?

    In this case, the simple answer is carnism. The prevailing dominant belief system, in which killing someone is completely compatible with loving them. Does it make any sense? No. But we see it in everything from “fish love” to “humane slaughter”.

  13. John Morales says

    Porivil, if you refer to Daniel Dunér’s comment, I like it.

    It invokes a nice ethical aspiration, vagueness and impracticality aside. And the principle is a clear extension of humanism.

    (Also, I hadn’t come across the specific term ‘carnism’ before, which surprised me)

  14. KG says

    A Cuda is a fun fish to catch and release – Ragutis@8

    I bet the “Cuda” thinks it’s fun too! After all, what could be more enjoyable than being pulled out of your normal environment to one which would slowly suffocate you, by a hook through your mouth?

  15. unclefrogy says

    as a money raiser ok might be ok to raise awareness but for convincing anyone of anything? a little to daft

    uncle frogy

  16. billyjoe says

    I thought it was pretty clear.

    The organization is called “Fish Love”.They love to fish, and to continue fishing, they realise that they, and everyone else, need to fish sustainably. So the purpose of the campaign is get people to fish sustainably. They sell the photos which promote the cause and they use the proceeds from the sales to further promote the cause. And the subject matter of the photos plays on the words “Fish Love”. All the actors are snuggling up to the fish in pretend sexual foreplay. So they have to be naked. And, of course, that will sell more of some of the photos involving the more photogenic models (and they couldn’t exactly reject those who volunteered but whom they would rather not photograph). It’s also a take-off of those photogrpaphs of celebrities who covered themselves expeditiously with animal furs in a campaign against the slaughter of animals for their fur. The only question to ask from a marketing point of view – which is really the only point of view seeing this is a marketing strategy – is “does it work?”. If not, the idea will be abandoned.

    Okay, maybe it wasn’t that clear – especially if you immediately took offense and looked no further ;)

  17. billyjoe says

    …as for using dead animals, well, they couldn’t exactly use live animals. Some are dangerous and others suffocate in air. Also they are fish that have presumably been fished sustainably. So no conflict there.

  18. woozy says

    It’s unethical to kill feeling individuals. It is indeed ghoulish to pose with the corpses of said individuals.

    I don’t get the constant fixation with whether other’s actions are hypocritical or not.

    Because pointing out the hypocrisy was the entire point of the blog post. If the point was to decry the eating of fish as cruel and unethical that would be one thing and it would be fair, but it would be an entirely different argument. And probably a different audience.

  19. consciousness razor says


    …as for using dead animals, well, they couldn’t exactly use live animals. Some are dangerous and others suffocate in air.

    Great “reasoning” you have there. They could have done something else entirely, instead of a photo stunt like this. These numerous other things would not require dead animals, nor of course would it make any difference how dangerous they may be or whether they can breathe air, because they need not in the first place be involved in how human beings communicate with one another.

    I think that’s fairly clear. But I know I’m personally doing exactly that, right at this moment, without the aid of dead fish, not to mention photographers or naked people (celebrities or otherwise). Somehow — although admittedly you may have to strain your imagination to accept it — I am capable of that, and frankly I don’t see how any of them might help in this particular instance anyway.

    Also they are fish that have presumably been fished sustainably. So no conflict there.

    Except for the dead fish, obviously. Then again, maybe KG was right and they were having a grand time up until the bitter end.

    In #28, you quoted Daniel Dunér saying he doesn’t “get the constant fixation.” Your response was that the “entire point” of PZ’s post (although you probably don’t actually know that information, since you’re not PZ) was to be fixated on the thing Daniel doesn’t get. So, he doesn’t get it, and you say that very thing is why? It’s because of … what? I don’t think you’ve explained anything.

  20. billyjoe says

    Consciousness razor,

    You might like to check your own reasoning. I was comparing using “dead fish” as opposed to “live fish” (because there had been some objection to using “dead fish”). The answer to that particular scenario cannot be “don’t use either”, because that places you outside the scenario in which the question was posed.

    As for using means other than those that involve dead or alive fish, well go ahead, no one is stopping you. In the mean time, this group has decided to use dead fish and naked humans, and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this. Otherwise please explain why you think so. It’s simply an advertising strategy which will stand or fall on the results. As will your strategy if you decide to implement one.

    And you don’t seem to understand the meaning of the term “sustainable fishing”. It means not fishing to extinction or near extinction, so that fishing can continue into the future. Therefore, if those fish were sustainable caught, then no conflict on the part of the advertiser. If you are against fishing altogether because of the inevitable suffering caused to the fish, then this is different argument which I didn’t address.