Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Fish

Last night Nik asked me if I'd like to go fishing with him sometime. He misses his Grandpa, which is particularly sad because his grandfather is still alive, but he suffers from two forms of dementia. His grandpa took him fishing when he was growing up, and now Nik seems to want to recapture that experience.

I feel bad because I don't think that I can go fishing. Just thinking of a fish with a hook in it's mouth makes me cringe. I don't think I would be able to eat fish anymore without having that visual in my mind. It's funny how removed from the source of our food society allows us to be. Last night Mark and I went to Kyoto and as we were leaving I saw something that I had never noticed before - At the front of the restaurant there are tanks full of live seafood. In my anthropomorphic state of mind, the crabs looked really angry. How odd to walk past the live version of the food we are about to sit down to eat.

I don't think I could ever be the kind of woman who cleans the fish and plucks the chickens in preparation for a meal. However, being my father's daughter, I have often enjoyed eating uncooked ground round on rye bread (yes, I know it's dangerous). Nik finds this practice completely disturbing, while I am not bothered by it. Of course, no one asked me to go out and shoot the cow first and grind it up myself, it just comes that way from the butcher. Ah yes, the butcher. Now I'm wondering if butchers exist because of our qualms about meat or if we have qualms about meat because we are accustomed to the butcher acting as the middle man. Which came first, the chicken, the egg, or the man who plucks the chicken and cuts it's head off?

If necessity warranted, I would have to come to terms with the process of killing an animal in order to eat it. Certain Native American cultures are known to have apologized to the hunted animal before killing it. I really like the idea of that, and I feel like a hypocrite sometimes for eating meat without having any connection to the animal from which it came. By the time I eat meat, I have dettached myself from it's source. The animal has been long dead, and while I don't know for sure, I'm guessing that the person who killed it didn't do it apologetically.

Perhaps I'll start apologizing to the package of ground round before eating it.

2 Comments:

Anonymous john said...

yes, my dear Heide, you may link away

March 29, 2005 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Roman said...

When I was a kid in Sri Lanka, I saw a young rooster being beheaded. Afterwards, we cooked and ate him.

March 31, 2005 2:12 AM  

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