Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eat or Be Eaten?

I often view the markets with a mixture of pleasure and disgust. I can't help that side of me, as I gradually became a vegetarian bit by bit. It started off as I started growing physically intolerant of meat. Now, as I have become more sensitive, the smell of the flesh of dead animals bothers me. It was a strange evolution for me, but I have managed to stay away from red meat completely.
I walked through the market, and felt the heat of the day as we were all walking through Zhong Shan, and saw people who just needed to sleep. It's like that with the body, if you fail to listen to its needs it just kind of gives out on you.
As I wandered by, a friend and I noticed these two fish who had been cut wide open to display their freshness. I was totally horrified because their hearts were still beating. Half of their bodies were gone, and there were the hearts, still pumping blood. I felt done. The last bit of meat I had left on my menu was gone.
They were still struggling to live and somehow I became completely sympathetic to their pain. No, I don't get after people who need meat to live. However, in a very strange way I wondered about my growing intolerance within myself.
I looked at the fish heads, with mouths wide open and then saw the fish in the pond outside, fat and swarming to be fed, ever so trusting, poking their heads out of the water.
What a different view life has in this pond for them. Maybe in a few months I can eat salmon steaks again...maybe, but only if they are killed swiftly with a bit of mercy. Or I could just stay as I am...not missing the taste of their flesh, and choosing to go a different way. We often forget about the lives that feed into ours. How little would it take for someone to view us as little more than fattened cattle if intelligence was used as a food guide?

6 comments:

YogaSavy said...

How did you manage to take those pictures? I would have walked right out. What with the smell and the blood....
Funnily enough I found myself coming back to see the pictures!

Marilyn said...

I held my breath and counted to five. I was horrified about the fish...I watched their little hearts beating...I just couldn't look away.

escapadethroughegypt said...

Yikes! I waver between my desire to be a strict vegetarian and my occasional meat cravings...but I think those fish would have given me a strong push toward the veggie side. Surely the fish feel that pain...

Marilyn said...

I so agree!!

No Wussies said...

Yuck. That would have pushed me over the edge too. It made me think of all the people living near the gulf. They talk about the fish all swimming up to the top and gasping for air because of the oxygen depletion with the oil. I eat a lot less meat now than I did before - and never red meat, but this makes me want to try a little harder to go vegetarian.

Marilyn said...

Just a little over the edge...just a little. I find that I have more energy not eating dead things...not to mention that heavy feeling of having a dead animal decomposing in my body. When I thought of it that way...well...it made it easier to give up meat.