Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Gone Fushin’

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  • andin,

    How about animals in an art installation
    Its open till Feb 2011 and those who want to can pay to stay a night with the reindeer who eat the amanita muscaria mushrooms and the birds and um other creatures. And if you want to, you can sup on the reindeer's urine.
    WHY would anyone do that?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    I don’t particularly like putting in a downer. It was obviously a super day for all concerned – and I can appreciate that and the photos – but the bit about the flapping fish in the bottom of the boat got to me. Why not kill them quickly? Will they stay fresher if you let them drown in air?
    EDIT: Not quite up to speed with the new gizmos. Thought I'd made this a response to Danielle, but it hasn't said so. OE must be.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Will they stay fresher if you let them drown in air?

    Not really, no. Today the common practice is to use an Iki spike. There will still be some flapping around though, which may be what Damian referred to.As they say, you can't make an omelette without breaking the eggs. And you can't eat a fish without killing it.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    And you can’t eat a fish without killing it.

    I realize that. Probably sounded far too holier-than-thou, and could have made my point without the lecture. It's OK to kill to eat - it's the catching and leaving the catch struggling on the deck or the bottom of the boat, which seems needlessly cruel. (Have to admit to an early childhood memory which has haunted me recently, for some reason: a trembling, weak-legged male calf, a red colour with a white blaze, which I was shown early one morning. A late birth. "What's going to happen to him?" "Oh, he's off to the works. We don't want males." It makes feel so sad to think of that little creature, taken from his mother. Fed nothing. Loaded on a truck after being put in a collection booth at the bottom of the road with a few other little late stragglers. I know farming and gathering of animal/fish/birds can be harsh and hard, but it doesn't make me feel any better. And I wonder how many people would rather not add to the industries so become veggo, not because they don't like the taste of meat, but because it can be anti-appetizing if they consider the steps that food has been through to get to their stomachs.)

    Oh dear. End of rant.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    And anyway, I quite like this version of your saying:

    You can't break eggs without making an omelette.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    My whanau have always eaten flesh of various kinds (with the exception of one person who became a vegan at age 14. But, that's another -and sad- story.) What we've also done is kill what flesh we eat as quickly & compassionately as we can.
    Iki spikes are really good - if the fisher knows how to use them. A waddy, a friendly local rock, a knife, were the things I used as a child and yea, until now.
    A gun, fine, for mammals (we dont duckshoot and we have other ways of dealing with titi - which you really dont want to know about Hilary! (Just by the by, I was a member of Project Jonah back in the 1970s, and find sow-crates - and commercial piggeries vile, vile, vile...) The deep freeze for crays & paua (paua have slightly more proto-brain than other molluscs.)

    Fish will flap round violently when first caught - it's an instinctual reaction to get back in the water. In a works, it can be difficult to deal with fish brought to the surface by several fishers *at once.* But I found David's whole post entrancing - and wow! the sunfish! (We've had oarfish on the beach, and -once- a moonfish (an opah) was brought to my door - but sunfish never come this far south-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I'm always intrigued by peoples' reactions to how we get our food. Am I cruel and callous for thinking that there's a food chain in nature, and that, like it or not, by dint of firepower and fishing rods, we're sort of somewhere near the top of that food chain? And that being the case, we're supposed to eat the life forms below us on that food chain? Of course, you want to do things ethically, and kindly, and respect the food you eat. But I have to be honest, Jacqui. They're fish. Sentient beings? Not so sure. Now, stingrays, I wouldn't want to kill them. Have you ever looked one in the eye? Soulful. And yet - I eat cows and lambs. And they're soulful too. Ah, better not to think of it, and just eat it. Still wouldn't eat a stingray though.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    Catch and release has always struck me as wantonly cruel. It is probably a dozen years since I caught a fish (and also, by no coincidence a little over a dozen years since I was last a full-time resident of New Zealand) but I used to catch hundreds of fish in a year, and everything that could be used, was used. If we couldn’t eat it, it was frozen or given to neighbors, and the cat (who imagined his name was “Fish”, as in “Here, Fish, Fish, Fish!”) would eat the offcuts.

    I have no qualms about eating flesh, but catch and release is to fishing what running up to a sheep in a field and whacking it with a stick is to a lamb roast.

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Fish only take baited hooks through folly, ignorance, or desperation. Their own laws prescribe the death penalty for doing so. Presumably this is a powerful deterrent, and is the reason why so many undersized - and ignorant - juveniles fall victim to the hook. To throw a fish back is to condemn it to almost certain death at the, uh, fins of its fellows.

    I once read that in a comic somewhere. It wasn't very well drawn, but I did find the idea rather haunting.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    suicidal fush eh!

    stressed or depressed. Does the flesh taste different, as its said it does with animals at slaughter.
    Perhaps we should ask the fusherman?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    The parallels with a certain discussion about family size are intriguing..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I recall being on a boat, travelling to an island to do some filming. One of the grips had caught a lovely pink schnapper and had it swimming around in a holding tank on the boat. He planned to eat it for his breakfast (the grips in this particular film crew used to cook up their own little snacks). Anyway, some guy decided to give the fish a bit of a fright, so he banged on the side of the tank. The fish changed colour immediately and tried to get away, knocking into every side of the tank as it did so. He was roundly told off by the grip for his cruelty, which was probably just thoughtlessness after all. The grip, when I asked why he'd got so angry, said just because it was going to be his food, didn't mean it wasn't due some respect.

    Nobody likes to think about many of these things really. People get very defensive over it. The old chestnut about plants having feelings (as if that makes it OK to eat animals too) is often thrown up. But the reality is that something dies in order for us to eat it.

    By all means, eat flesh. I do sometimes, but occasionally, when I think I might like a pie or a hamburger, the origin of the meat pops into my head, and I settle for something to eat which hasn't involved the end of a creature (as opposed to a plant).

    I guess what I'm getting at - sorry to be longwinded - is that we would do ourselves a service by acknowledging that when we eat a bit of meat, it came from a living being. And maybe we would also see that one day, something will be eating us!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Funny how we've created a food chain that has us at the top of it, rather than bacteria

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    More of em than us, too

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Much much older than anything else too. Can live almost anywhere (including our guts.) Bacteria as a mass outweigh every other lifeform and will be the last form of life to die out.

    Bacteria rule, OK?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Islander,

    Hahaha, oh yes. Reading Bill Bryson's "The Short History of Nearly Everything" can certainly bring a person down to earth (and beyond). The billions and zillions of little beings that have each one of us as their earth. I tried to point this out to my niece, but she shrieked. Too much information!

    Incidentally, ever vacuumed your mattress? Very interesting.....

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    ...we would do ourselves a service by acknowledging that when we eat a bit of meat, it came from a living being

    And what better way of doing that than to catch and kill yourself what you eat? Like with fishing.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Um. Are we talking at cross purposes here, Martin? I don't have a problem with people killing what they want to eat - just that it would be better, for killer and killee, if it wasn't a long, slow death.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Forgive me if I'm mistaken, Damien, but "a quick death" - quoting Raymond Francis - is not something you or your mates gave the fish you caught.

    We spike all the fish as soon as they're on board, then chuck 'em in the chilly bin. There was one fish that couldn't immediately be dispatched as such, and that was because another needed help getting his catch on board. There was certainly no pile of fish slapping around in pain (if that's indeed what they feel) - if nothing else it would make three people fishing on a small boat even trickier.

    At 45m the biggest issue is ensuring various bits of them don't inflate with the change in pressure, making it very hard to get them back down again if they're big breeders, too small, or you just don't need them.

    In that regard, I think catch and release (or catching after you've got quota, just for the fun of it) is pointless, possibly cruel (or at least not caring and considerate) and at worst damaging/fatal to otherwise healthy creatures. I'm with @Islander on this one, I find it quite moral as long as we're getting a feed.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    An interesting link. I must admit that for crayfish, putting them in the freezer where they go to sleep seems less cruel.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Thanks for that info, Damian. (Sorry, spelled your name wrong previously - hate that!) I read that bit of your post again re the flapping fish and it did sound as if you just hauled them in and threw your line back in anew. So glad you didn't do that!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Ha, yeah I probably gave that impression because it sounded more dramatic, you know, reels screaming, gannets plummeting, fish flapping, all go... so my fault there, I'd forgotten about the PETA wing :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Damian Christie,

    I can so appreciate the desire to "drama" it up a bit. Have to admit to a bit of that myself on the odd occasion :)

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • christopher brown, in reply to andrea quin,

    Errr... why else would you catch snapper if not to eat them Andrea? Would you prefer we all just bought our fish (if we're rich enough) at the fish shop from the long line ocean rapists whose catch limit is measured in tonnes?

    wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to christopher brown,

    Andrea didn't suggest not eating them, but the photo of the lines of dead schnapper might have made her wonder how big an appetite each of the fishers had. Also, maybe, how often they might go out fishing.

    Made me a bit queasy too, as you'll see from my posts.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

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