I live about nine miles inland from the Fort Lauderdale coast of Florida. This is one of the primo sport fishing areas in the world. That’s one of my neighbors pictured above. If you are into fishing, living here would be the same high as being a golfer whose home backs up on the back nine—got plenty of those too in Florida.
The problem is, I don’t particularly care for fishing. My son and my wife love to fish. I find it a smelly, boring endeavor that shows no mercy to one of God’s little creatures. Think about it. Fish are caught because they fail to notice a practically invisible nylon line with a sharp non-reversal hook tied to its end. And if the hooks don’t get them, there are the large football-field nets to deal with. They have no chance…no sporting chance.
Fish have no arms and hands to reach up and yank the hook out of their mouths or help them escape some net they’ve become entangled in. They can’t even get a little revenge by scratching the heck out of you while you dangle it and smile for the usual bragging photo op. Nope, the poor fish can do nothing but flap and flop around on the deck as it desperately tries to find deep water. This is sport?
My son was watching a television show on Alaskan salmon fishing the other night. He was wowed by the number of fish being caught. They were in abundant supply as they were hauled onto the boats tangled in long inescapable nets. I, on the other hand, felt sorry for the fish. They had no chance. One moment they were swimming around enjoying life; the next they’re flopping about on the deck of some boat soon to be beheaded, cut open, cleaned of their innards and tossed into a huge bin to be sold when the boat gets back to port…and for a nice sum I might add.
My son says fish can’t feel anything—they have no nervous system like we do, not to mention much thinking power to figure out all the horrible stuff that’s being done to them. Me, I think it makes no nevermind. The fish still get caught, can’t escape, will be cut into filets and baked or sliced and grilled and that’s the end of it. They must have some negative outlook on all this, even if miniscule. Oh, did I mention that I get horribly seasick too? True. The minute the captain turns off the engine to drift fish and the boat begins that rhythmic wallowing up and down, to and fro, up and down and to and fro and up….okay, you get the picture.
I suppose there is not much difference in the treatment of other animals we kill for food, although fish are a little different in that they are either farmed or made sport of. I don’t know anyone who hunts cow or chicken though I suppose you could make the case it would be good sport chasing the chickens around the barnyard and seeing how many you could catch.
I had some Alaskan salmon for dinner last night. That’s what sort of got me thinking about all these random fishing thoughts. We’ve done a good job, us humans, of cleansing the whole killing aspect of the food supply we consume. My piece of salmon was perfectly cut into a nice rectangle. It came in an air-tight plastic pouch that was inside a plastic bag with nice graphics and text on the outside. It was such that I didn’t have to think about the fish—or any fish for that matter—who sacrificed its life for my dinner. It could have been a rectangular piece of some salmon-like substance for all I knew. It was just a lot easier to eat not having to witness the real process the fish went through to get from the bottom of the ocean to my mouth.