Friday, 17 February 2012

The Lonely Salmon.



Oh great, a sudden and unexpected crisis of conscience. Just what I needed.
There I was pushing my trolley around a supermarket as big as an aircraft hangar.  Just another bovine shopper, grazing my way along the aisles being serenaded by bland pop music and heading for the refrigerated section where food that has been knocked down in price as it is going out of date resides. I noticed the shelves in this section were almost empty.

Then I looked at the bottom shelf and there is was.  A corpse.

It was a whole salmon lying on it's own and looking totally out of place.  There was a small amount of blood pooled around it's head in the shrink wrapping and I knew that no-one would buy this fish and that it would be dumped without ceremony in the bins around the back of the store. On the white shelf and under the glare of the electric lighting it just looked sad.

Don't get me wrong, I eat meat and fish and I don't go around assuming animals have the same emotions as people but it just seemed wrong all of a sudden.  This fish had been taken from whatever waters it had lived in, left to gasp it's life out in the open air only for it to end up on the bottom shelf of the knock-down bin where no-one wanted it.

I don't now why this feeling suddenly hit me when I saw this poor dead fish but I remembered many years ago when I worked in a car polish factory with a bloke who had a part time job in a slaughterhouse.  He used to come out with stories of using dead cow's udders like water pistols and spraying milk on his colleagues.
Or how sometimes pigs were still alive when they went into the flame jets that seared the bristles off their backs, or cows dropped alive into boiling vats because workers couldn't be bothered stunning them properly.

Now because of this fish I find myself considering vegetarianism. My wife has been vegetarian for 20 years and as such I eat plenty of vegetarian food so it shouldn't be too difficult.  Then a little voice in my head starts whining about how nice pork pies are or needing animal protein for my weight training in the gym or that my stopping eating meat won't stop cruel morons tormenting animals out of boredom before they kill them.

But we all sort of know this stuff goes on and we choose to ignore it because we like the taste, I just don't know if I can carry on being complicit in this.  So maybe I will give up meat, I mean I smoked for 25 years and managed to quit so meat should be a doddle.
What do you think.

Oh and if anyone thinks I am some sort of liberal, over-sensitive hippy they can fuck right off.



37 comments:

Padded Cell Princess said...

I love meat and I love animals. Growing up as a hunter, we learned that you ate everything you killed and you never killed for fun. We were poor and sometimes whatever we had hunted or fished was all we had. Luckily we have the English Market in Cork so we get all of our meat from there. The meat comes from small, local farms and is sold from small, local butchers. A lot of the butchers even post the names of the farmers and their wives from where the animals came from. I very rarely buy meat from the grocery store because I hate the thought of the cruelty and waste. We also have vegetarian days to try and lessen our meat eating. I feel good about doing what we do so just find what works for you and do it.

Pat Hatt said...

It's all a matter of finding a balance. I never agree with people torchering animals, that's just digusting and they should be shoot in the foot. I bet they'd stop then. But eating meat to me is fine, as long as one doesn't waste and go out hunting for sport of some bs like that.

Rob Z Tobor said...

Yes I have heard of not nice things happening in some slaughterhouses. I do wonder if after so long you become immune the what you are doing so that those doing the cruelty don't even notice what they do is cruel. The desensitizing of the human brain.

On a lighter note I noticed that the Salmon was having an out of Plaice experience.

dopdavid said...

sometimes i have moments like that, were just certain things happen that cause me to dive into memories and deep thought. Being vegetarian would be cool :) and change all comes down to you, even though you won't make a difference to the big picture, it is still making change

Luke said...

So, did you buy the salmon to insure its sacrifice wasn't all for naught? But truly, we all probably ought to give more thought to where our food is coming from and the related impacts, whether we eat meat or vegetables.

Sujana said...

I want to be a vegetarian but it's so hard since we eat chicken at home a lot and I hate vegetables.Anyway, I think it's great you wanna quit. Good luck! You must have an amazing willpower if you were able to quit smoking after 25 years..CRAZY!

YeamieWaffles said...

I completely respect that this is your opinion mate but at the same time, I don't know, I know for a fact if I sat down and thought about what I was eating every time I ate it then the guilt would eventually eat me alive and I'd go off animals like that completely. I just don't think I like enough non meat products to be a vegetarian, I don't.

D4 said...

Personally, right now it's not in my best interest. If I made enough money to eat well without meat, I would, but it's uphill for me. I still applaud anyone who pulls it off.

Belle said...

I think it is a good idea. We don't really need to eat animals, and I do think they have feelings. Go for it!

Zyu said...

I too don't really like animals are being killed, but I guess this is how it works. We mustn't forget that we are animals as well.

Margaret said...

I am always on the verge of vegetarianism, but somehow I always forget at the crucial moment.

Janie Junebug said...

I'm a liberal, overly sensitive hippie. I eat a little meat, but not a lot. I can't remember the last time I had red meat or pork. I eat some salmon because it's healthy, but I'm careful about where I buy it. I wish you well in making changes.

Love,
Janie

Tony Van Helsing said...

Princess: I've got two really good independent butchers within walking distance of my house, this is going to be hard.

Pat: Shoot them in the foot, I like it.

Rob: Good plaice joke.

dopavid: I know it won't make a difference in the whole but it matters to me.

Luke: I'm sorry to say 'I didn't buy the salmon.

Sujana: If you hate vegetables then vegetarianism isn't for you.

Matthew: Each to their own.

D4: Vegetables are no more expensive than meat.

Belle: I'm sure they do have feelings, they have a central nervous system just the same as us.

Zyu: Exactly, we separate ourselves from animals but that is what we are.

Margaret: Selective forgetfulness.

Janie: Thanks love.

Bart said...

its only a fish, thers plenty in the sea. :)

Mynx said...

There has been a lot of noise in the news here recently about cruelty in abattoirs and calls for tighter regulation.
I enjoy eating meat. I like the flavour and the texture. Perhaps I need to eat less at times but that is my choice.
I certainly respect your choice to become a vegetarian.

(did you realise that the captchas have now doubled? I know this is your blog but it is annoying to deal with)

SkippyMom said...

Oh thank god you changed that pic'. Although the pig one was completely appropriate - it was definitely gross! :) Thank you!

Ever since I started on this low sodium diet I am leaning heavily towards being a vegetarian. Not by choice, but just out of convenience and health. So much easier to eat/cook with fruits/veggies and grains without salt than worry about getting the great taste out of chicken and beef on this diet. Fish is good, but not on a daily basis and chicken is great IF you buy it organic [who can afford it]because otherwise they shoot it full of preservatives. But I can say I LOVE beef..I miss it. :(

Vapid Vixen said...

Oh my god!!! Those stories about the animals are horrifying!!! I tried being a vegetarian once in high school. It lasted until I got home and my parents had ordered a pizza with pepperoni and sausage. I'm a weak weak person.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Bart: There won't be if we keep eating them faster than they can reproduce.

Mynx: What is a captcha and how can I rectify this?

Skippy: You seem to be classing chicken as a vegetable. My wife had this problem last time she was in America, she would as for the vegetarian option and be offered chicken.

Vixen: How can pepperoni be tempting? It tastes like soap.

Mynx said...

Captchas are the word verification that is supposed to stop spam.
Those funky little jumbled words

Check this if you want to turn them off

http://coolnewz4u.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/how-to-remove-captcha-for-your-blog.html

Tony Van Helsing said...

Cheers Mynxy.

Jax said...

I went vegetarian for a long time. I had to stop because it's difficult to get all the nutrients you need. My hair started to fall out. If you could do it properly without jeopardizing your health, that would be wonderful. Just be careful :)

Baur said...

Neat blog following :)

SUCEN said...

Interesting

Dylanthulhu said...

I don't like the way some animals are killed, but I'm not nearly naive enough to think that me not eating meat is going to do anything.

And meat is delicious.

Shockgrubz said...

Gratz on the quitting smoking. I'm still trying with the e-cigs that don't seem to keep a charge for crap. Anyway, your post echos thoughts of my own, but I live too close to omnivores and will have to grieve every time I dine.

My 2 Pesos said...

I only like human meat.

Workingdan said...

I love meat, but I love animals too. I find myself being sensitive to how the animals are treated also, but my taste-buds always get the best of me and I shrug off whatever the animal has been through and enjoy the tasty meal.

Violet said...

Tony,
I think you need to listen to your body. The brain and conscience are not reliable. Follow your gut.
I have been a vegetarian for almost all my life [and no, I am not young] and have experimented with all facets of it, lacto/ovo, veganism, raw vegan... most often switching for "guilt" reasons or logically-driven health purposes- but what always helps me in the deciding factor:
How does this make me feel when I eat it?
Eggs have an adverse effect on me, more and more as time passes. They are also on the top 10 food-allergen list. So they are out of my diet. I make some exceptions [like if there's one egg in an entire 2-layer cake, and I want a slice.] But all in all, I stopped letting these emo reasons effect me.
Fuck Ted Nugent aannndddd PETA.
Any extremist agenda can suck ass.

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

I've considered vegetarianism too. ;)
Sometimes it's so sad. I wish people could simply be more humane about things.
This is a beautifully deep post. You really got me thinking about things.

Heaven. said...

Do what feels right.

R.gers said...

I love meat, yum yum yum. But those sound like animal cruelty more than anything.

TexaGermaFinlaNadian said...

Haha, your last line is awesome. Heck, try it for a week or two and see how you like it. I'm not a huge fan of meat, and only try to eat it a few times a week. You could always go that route if it was hard to cut down.

Katsidhe said...

That's the reason that I'm a vegetarian. =( I know all about the circle of life and that bullshit, but I've difficulty reconciling the idea of another animal dying for me when I can happily live on vegetation.

(Thank you for no Captca. It's why I've been comment light. It's very difficult to comment on my iPod with it and I'm so busy that it's where I do a lot of my commenting.)

Movies on my Mind said...

Like Kurt Cobain said: #It's okay to eat fish because they don't have any feelings.#

Juliette said...

Depends on whether you can resist the smell of a bacon sandwich.

Jimmy Fungus said...

At first I thought this was going to end like the Peanuts Christmas special where Charlie Brown takes home the tree nobody wants then tries to spuce it up with a little love. But anyway, this is ir ironic, I would read this now because I was just about to head off to a salad bar to buy some nutricious vegetables that hopefully were humanely put to rest.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

You know, this is such a great post because I can actually see your mind working through this problem. My husband and son are hunters - eat almost solely the venison they shoot annually. Now, there are TONS of people out there that have a problem with hunting, but they are also often the same people who mindlessly wolf down steak and burgers without caring about the process in which that poor animal was disposed of. I know for a fact that what comes to our table was killed humanely, none of it is wasted and is appreciated. Not to mention the fact that it lived a normal life in acres and acres of trees. Okay, off my soapbox. I never thought when I was young I'd catch myself defending hunting, but sometimes I shock myself and think I'm figuring things out a bit in adulthood. Good luck Tony - whatever decision you make Is RIGHT FOR YOU.