Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Becoming A Tuna

Several of my Catholic Cursillo friends are fishermen. I've half-wanted to go fishing with them for a while now. The other half of me felt empathy for the fish and didn't want to kill animals. Going fishing cured me of that. The fish, the birds, every living thing we encountered killed without remorse. They were, after all, godless savages.

They'd have done it to you in a cold-blooded heartbeat.

I love keeping fish in aquariums. Back when I had some, I did my best to see that the fish, typically tetras and other colorful minnow-like beasties, lived their best lives. Plenty of space, live plants, live food when I could get it and water chemistry to match their native streams and ponds. I was emotionally attached to my fish.

Baiting a hook with a live anchovy is a squirmy, squishy, bloody task. You drive a barbed piece of metal through it's belly and then throw it into the ocean where the poor, wounded thing swims off, hopefully into the mouth of a larger fish so you can reel that one in and kill it on the deck. You become part of nature, red in tooth and claw.

Like the animals care.

The tuna eat the anchovy in the wild, hook or no hook. They crunch away on live fishies, not caring a whit for the pain and suffering. Tim's insects do the same thing. I knew this intellectually, but I still carried my empathy with me until I saw the seagulls.

As we returned to port, I watched the deck hands fillet the fish we'd caught. As they carved them up, they tossed the unwanted pieces over the side where a flock of seagulls who were following our boat fought over the scraps. If your beak went through another bird's eye, well, so what?

When the last fish had been filleted, the seagulls took to landing on the tops of the bait tanks and grabbing live anchovies out of them. The anchovies desperately tried to escape, but the seagulls were too fast for them. Snatch, crunch, gobble and the fish was cruelly slain and devoured.

And that was that. In the sea and in the air all around us, animals were maiming, torturing and killing each other all day every day. It's just what they did. The surprise is not the violence and cruelty, the surprise is any thought process that leads away from it. Anything that produces kindness and love is unnatural.

This is getting perilously close to TL;DR territory, so I'll just close with this: Christianity is really weird, man. Dittos for any other philosophy that teaches kindness. When you see people promoting abortion, you're seeing a reversion to Tunaism. Torturing and killing another living thing so you can continue mating is pure Tuna.


tim eisele said...

Yeah, growing up on a farm destroyed any illusions I might have had about how much blood and death was involved in acquiring food. And photographing the things that live around our current home has really reinforced just how little room there is for compassion in nature. Death strikes suddenly, without warning, for the vast majority, and practically everything has to produce at least dozens of offspring, if not hundreds or thousands, just to make sure that a couple of them will live long enough to breed themselves.

And it really makes it clear just how unusual of a situation humans have gotten ourselves into. If we have a child, that child is almost certainly going to live to adulthood, because:
-we killed all of our non-human predators,
-we remade our environment to focus almost entirely on producing food and shelter for us, and
-we introduced a combination of sanitation, vaccinations, and antibiotics which are so effective that dying of infectious disease is now unusual instead of being the norm.

So, we have removed ourselves from "nature, red in tooth and claw" to such an extent that we now have the luxury of kindness and compassion. We no longer have to have about 6 kids to make sure that at least a couple grow up, and so we don't have to harden ourselves against the early deaths of the other four. But this could all go to pot if we were to insist on breeding so fast that the resources are not sufficient, reducing us to fighting for scraps and returning to the state of violence and sudden death that is the normal state of nature.

One Brow said...

When you see people promoting abortion, ...

Do you acknowledge a difference between promoting abortion and promoting the right to abortion (just as there would be a difference between promoting gun ownership and the right to own guns)?

Is so, who are the promoters of abortion?