Why the Cats of the Internet Are Rising Up Against #BadTuna

by Madeleine Smith

March 25, 2016

Cats already rule the internet. Now CATivists are changing the world.

It’s a purr-fect relationship – the one between a human and their cat.

As a cat owner, I’ve experienced the ups for the same feline companion for last 13 years, as well as the gut-wrenching, I-just-spent-my-whole-paycheck-at-the-vet-on-you downs.

Cat Claws Owner

We treat them, pamper them, worship them just so that, maybe, we get the cat-lovings we so desire at the end of the day – when in reality, the day ends with a blank stare that screams ‘I hate you’ with their claws cemented into the side of the couch.


Along with the nagging cat-guilt we owners suffer when it comes to their impact on native birds – yes, the relationship can be stretched. Placing all that aside, we love them, and we make ethical, sustainable choices for them. Which is why I would never feed my cat bad tuna. And I’m not alone.

The CATivists of the internet – Lil Bub, Nala, and Hamilton the Hipster Cat along with many more have teamed up with Greenpeace on a mission against #badtuna.

So, why is it so significant that these cat’s are backing CatsVsBadTuna?

Cats rule the internet, fact. So when these A-listers decided to spread the word about #BadTuna, that’s a combined reach of over 11 million cat people. That is a very large number to tell that the global tuna industry is out of control.

Haunted by stories of human rights abuse, worker exploitation and destructive fishing, tuna giant Thai Union ships hundreds of thousands of cans of cat food to Mars, the largest pet food company on the planet, each year containing tuna and other seafood.  

Mars owns many of the pet food brands you’ll see in the supermarket or at your vet, including Whiskas, Iams and Dine – with all their tuna and other seafood sourced from Thailand.

Cat food is BIG business – in the U.S, pets are apparently eating twice as much fish as people. Along with swiftly declining tuna numbers from our oceans, this wasteful and destructive fishing practices cannot continue.

After repeatedly asking Mars some very basic questions – ‘do your Whiskas products contain Thai Union seafood?’ being one of them – they’ve struggled to produce a simple yes or no. Even when they respond to us on twitter, they point us to their on-line policy rather than answer the question

That’s why we’re asking the public to join with us to tell Mars loud and clear that we want some answers. No cat wants to be propping up human rights abuse or overfishing by eating #badtuna.

Join Lil Bub, Captain Pancakes and Nala and take action now! Send an email to Mars demanding proof it’s not feeding cats bad tuna!

Update: You and the cats are making a difference. Atter a huge outcry, Whiskas has responded and is unable to deny its cat food’s connection to forced labor:

If we keep pushing, we can win one for the oceans and our cats!

By Madeleine Smith

Madeleine Smith is a campaigner with Greenpeace New Zealand.

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