“If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.”
No, I didn’t kill a man. But I did kill fish. And it stirred up a storm.
A few weeks back, a couple of us went on a vacation, and had the opportunity to fish. We went fishing, not believing we would catch any, but managed to catch 6 fish that we had for lunch. Wanting to remember this moment, I posted a picture of our haul on IG and FB, only to be met with a horde of “Sin!” and “pav!”. Not one of them were vegetarian.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not an argument on the pros and cons of eating meat, or whether or not one should be a vegetarian. This is simply me – an ardent meat eater getting extremely annoyed at the hypocrisy of my fellow meat eaters. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, all the power to you. I will never be able to do what you are doing, and for that, you have utmost respect.
But you, the one who loves their steak or fish and chips or barbequed chicken, how dare you say “sin” when I fished for food? You do realize that the fish on your plate was once alive? Someone had to catch that fish you eat? And clean it? You do realize that the fish didn’t appear on your plate or into the freezer from nowhere? My logic is simple. If I eat it, I should be able to accept the pain the animal goes through because of me. Do I enjoy it? No. Do I LIKE killing animals? Of course not. But I believe it is inevitable if I am to continue eating meat. And if I do continue to eat meat, I need to be okay with the process.
From what I understood, most people are more than happy to pay someone to do their dirty work for them. As long as they don’t see the process of fishing/harvesting, they are fine. Living in a bubble, these people live by “ignorance is bliss”, and I call that bullsh*t.
If I enjoy killing animals there is something wrong with me. I didn’t enjoy removing the hook from the fish’s mouth. I didn’t enjoy it flapping about. In fact, it took me quite some time to talk to myself about me decision. I told myself that I have two options. If I want to continue to eat fish, I need to face what the fish is going through. I need to accept that it is undergoing pain so that I can fill my stomach. If I am not okay with this, I told myself, I can no longer eat fish. I should not make someone else do something that I am not willing to do.
I thought, and I accepted it as a part of the process. One day I am going to die, and the animals will eat my decayed flesh in some form or the other. All a part of the great cycle of life. I also vowed to never fish/hunt for fun (not that I ever did, or had plans of doing it). Having said that, if one day I am not okay with the process of having chicken/fish ending up on my plate, I will turn vegetarian.
(This is one of those moments when I am glad to live in this small island of ours where harvesting mechanisms are much more humane than what I see on the internet.)
So, unless you are a vegetarian/vegan, who refuse to eat any flesh on the basis that it is against your humane principles, please don’t tell me how my debut fishing trip is sinful and sad. I at least have the gut to face the pain I am inflicting on my food, and don’t turn a blind eye while paying someone to do it for me.
If you can’t bear it, don’t eat it. If you eat it, man/woman up and face it.
That is all.