Walk over and ask her for a vegan crab cake.
Amanda Brody, senior campaigner for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) describes the mermaid as a fun way to better connect humans with sea life.
"This is also another way for PETA to remind us that there's no reason to eat fish when there are so many vegan options that are delicious," Brody tells New Times.
Brody says the mermaids have been traveling the United States in conjunction with PETA's "I'm Me Not Meat" campaign, which includes two giant billboards — one off westbound Sheridan Street between North 64th and North 66th avenues in Hollywood, the other at Exit 1 off I-95 at SW Seventh Street and Brickell Avenue in Miami. "We would like people to view animals as individuals and not meat. The billboard explains that animals have a desire to live."
Today, the mermaid will offer vegan crab cakes made by the Rabbit Hole (2659 E. Atlantic Blvd.)in Pompano Beach. The restaurant offers an array of plant-based alternatives to meat and seafood including a surf and turf dinner ($27), southern fried jumbo prawns ($13), and a shrimp 'po boy ($23).
At Kush Coconut Grove (formerly the Spillover, 2911 Grand Ave.) vegan crab cakes are a menu staple. The cakes are made from scratch using Brussels sprouts, chopped carrots, cauliflower, leeks, red potatoes, and other vegetables. Owner Matt Kuscher, who offers vegan alternatives at all his restaurants, says the cakes are a favorite among nonvegans as well.
Brody also encourages people to check out plant-based recipes on PETA's website. "There are so many options. Every person who goes vegan saves lives — and it's so easy to do so."
In 2013, an undercover PETA investigation found that live crabs were being "impaled, torn apart, and decapitated — even as their legs continue to move" at a processing plant in Maine. Crabs and other crustaceans are boiled alive and fish "slowly suffocate or are crushed to death when they're dragged from the ocean in huge nets," the animal-rights organization points out.
PETA notes that more fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined and that "lobsters are like us in many ways: They have a long childhood and an awkward adolescence, and just like us, they carry their young for nine months and can live to be more than 100 years old."
The PETA mermaid will hand out vegan treats at the intersection of E. Las Olas Boulevard and Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard (A1A) in Fort Lauderdale while supplies last, beginning at noon today.