Proving that she would do anything to help animals, I’d Do Anything and Les Misérables star Samantha Barks didn’t hesitate before stripping down and plunging into a tank of cold water to pose for a new PETA advert that challenges, “Imagine Not Being Able to Breathe”, explaining that fish suffocate when pulled out of the water.

Samantha Barks' PETA Ad
Samantha Barks' PETA Ad

The advert goes on to implore, “Please Try to Relate, and Keep Fish off Your Plate.”

“Fish have the same capacity to feel pain and to suffer as dogs and cats do”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA are delighted to have teamed up with Samantha Barks, a long-time vegetarian, to encourage the public to help all animals by leaving them off their plates.”

Biologists have found that fish develop relationships with each other and grieve when their companions die. Some fish are capable of using tools, while others gather information by eavesdropping. These intelligent, sensitive animals are so good-natured that Dr Sylvia Earle, the world’s leading marine biologist, has said, “I wouldn’t deliberately eat a grouper any more than I’d eat a cocker spaniel.”

Each person who goes vegetarian or vegan spares 100 fish and other animals immense suffering every year.

Winner of multiple awards for her debut film role in Les Misérables, Barks has starred in stage productions of Cabaret, Les Misérables, Oliver! and others. She next stars in A Hundred Streets alongside Gemma Arterton and Idris Elba.

Barks joins a growing list of celebrities – including Vivienne Westwood, John Bishop, Joss Stone, Paul McCartney and Joaquin Phoenix – who have teamed up with PETA to promote the group’s motto, which reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”.

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