Florian and I have been lucky enough to spend our isolation time on a property that leads to a waterfront. In the recent weeks, we’ve headed down in the early evenings and thrown a line in for a bit of a fish.
Something I’ve learned during this endeavour is, I am literally the worst person you can take fishing with you.
I love setting up the picnic rug on the grass, watching the sunset whilst listening to music play from my phone.
You’ll often catch me looking up, hoping to spot the first stars in the tranquil sky and I’ve even been successful in identifying the brightest light in the sky at this time of year as the planet, Venus, thanks to an astronomy app.
Florian casts his line into the river and we chat endlessly into the night.
If this is what fishing is, sign me up, because I’m all for it. That is, until he catches something.
It turns out Florian is quite the fisherman and manages to bait many fish over the course of the evening onto his hook.
When we see the rod bend with a potential catch, I squeal with excitement, so proud that his effort has resulted in reward. I jump on the spot as he fights the good fight and reels in his catch up.
Florian puts his catch in a bucket of water from the river, and I watch it swimming round and round dazed by its current situation. I usually name the fish and spend the night ensuring it’s comfortable and has enough water to prevent it from suffocating.
When I see the fish on the other end, gasping for air, my heart sinks with sadness.
I flinch when it splashes water out of the bucket, I cringe when live bait is threaded onto the hook and I let out a stern warning not to injure the fish when unhooking it and to gently drop it back in the water if it’s too small.
I think I’m so accustomed to either seeing an animal alive in its environment or the cuts of meat packed on the shelf for my taking, I’ve become blissfully ignorant of the middle step in the paddock (or sea) to plate process.
I’m aware the it is totally hypocritical and I’m almost prepared to receive feedback from both sides in this equation.
A huge argument for animal activists and vegetarian/vegans community is:
If you had to personally kill the animal, would you still eat meat?
Honestly, probably not.
But just because I don’t want to be responsible for killing well, really anything, shouldn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to enjoy meat, and I should shift my focus on trying to be as ethical as I can be in this space.
Now before you fishers jump in and try and tell me it’s the circle of life, and it’s alright when I head into the store and see the fish lying on a bed of ice for the picking, Florian has already successfully failed at changing my mind.
Florian and I decided a long time ago to jump on HelloFresh as after doing our grocery shop, at the end of the week, we’d be throwing away so much spoiled food as we’d overbought.
HelloFresh sends us only the ingredients we need for every meal so no more dried up herbs, smelly chicken and bruised fruit in our fridge anymore.
I also gained an interesting insight after my trip to Japan last year, where I learned of the utmost respect the Japanese have for the food they eat. I was told that before every meal, many thank the animal for its sacrifice and put an appreciative thought to the meal before them before tucking in.
So whilst you won’t see me jumping on the vegan or vegetarian bandwagon, you also won’t witness me volunteering to catch a fish I’m not prepared to throw back into the water.
I’ll just focus on looking at the stars and trying to find more planets with my space app.