Magical Fishing

Fishermen up here are wingeing on about there being no fish for the derbies this year.

Humans have a tendency to magical thinking:  they think wild animals just poof into place for them to eat or play with.  They don't seem to recognize a species has to breed and grow and not be stressed.  Like the cod industry.  Thinking of it as an "industry" was the mind-set that wrecked it in the first place.  Giving people prizes for what they catch is just paying somebody to go out and play catch-and-release.

Catch-and-release:  that's just tormenting animals for the fun of it.  Hell of a thing to teach children; maybe it's what's at the bottom of the kids who grow up to torment prisoners, touching their wee-wees and sicking dogs on them.  Once somebody is classified as an animal we can catch, then we get to torment them.  If we can do it to a fish, we can do it to a human.

We should catch and keep the first two of whatever we get on the line.  It's all good.  These people claim to be in touch with the wild, and they don't even know how to prepare a bullhead or a dogfish for the pan.  Meat is meat is meat — you just have to know how to treat each kind of meat.  There are people who will poach salmon (shudder).  Hell, there are people who fry fresh horse-meat.

There's been a breeding-ground proposal:  no fish within the breeding ground, so when fish get big and need to extend their range, they can wander out they can tend to be larger.

Don't bother them in their homes.  We should be happy that kicking in a fish's home door doesn't add to an insurgency, like it does when we do it to each other.  Then again, learning to harrass and torment wild animals wherever they live may ultimately be building an insurgency — just not out of the fish.

Sooner or later, we reap what we sow.

Caveat:  I love to fish.  But I catch what I can, and eat what I catch, and then I go home.  I kill quick, and I explain to kids that poking a fish in the eye is disrespecting their food.  I've actually heard a father, when throwing away most of a badly-filleted salmon carcass — with plenty of meat and the head still on it — "That's just crab bait."  Well, maybe it is, but these animals died so we could live.  A whole religious group stole that line, for an imaginary god — and then ignore and despise the animals who really do die for their life.

If you catch it, thank it.  Kill it quick.  Care for the meat.  Clean it properly, leaving little waste.  Cook it properly.  Teach your children to respect it.  Be a decent omnivore.  In the long run, you'll have more to eat.

You reap what you sow.


8 thoughts on “Magical Fishing

  1. Err… what /do/ you do with dogfish/bullhead, then? (I will eat anything you put in front of me – just don’t tell me what I’m eating until it’s swallowed ^.~)

    I won’t ask about horse – although I’d be enclined to slow-roast it… isn’t horse kinda tough?

    (Can’t tell I cook and am perpetually curious about food that I don’t encounter often, can you? ^^; )

  2. Dogfish: you kill it immediately, skin it asap and get those fillets on ice. And do NOT let cats near the skins — they’re highly toxic. That’s why you have to skin it right now. But then you can deep-fry the fillets; nice as skate. It’s shark, which is often used for fish-n-chips worldwide anyway.

    Bullhead: You need a decent-sized one for this, otherwise throw the little guy back. Rip off the head with the guts. Peel the body. You’re left with a tube of meat. Fry it and suck it off the bone like corn-on-the-cob. Delicious, firm, sweet white meat.

    This is from friends in Europe who eat horse: horse needs to be aged, both before and after death. The weird thing about horse is, the older the animal is, the better it eats. It’s often smoked or jerked, then sliced very thin. Kill quick and kind or you’ll get those fear hormones, and those aren’t good for anybody.

    So here’s another food which I don’t know if you eat or not: Uni, or sea-urchin. If you get it off the beach, very fresh, the cream-and-fresh-sea-water flavor is sparked with the additional slight flavor of garlic.

  3. Hmmnn.. Thanks!

    You mind if I copy this out for my recipe files?
    While I have my doubts that I will ever get my hands on any of the above, if I do, I’d like to have it handy… ^^
    And I’ve never encountered sea urchin – fresh or otherwise. Yet? Heh.

  4. Have at. Scratch anybody, and under the surface is a Foodie. It’s something you can always talk about at a party.

    We pick up fresh sea urchin, scallops and clams up here on the reef. The mussels are the big green pacifics and kinda grassy, but they smoke nice!

    Very little a human can’t cook properly and eat. Most of our I Won’t Eat It is food prejudice. And everybody’s got one. I imagine if I keep trying new things, I’ll find mine.

  5. Well, I am of those European Friends who eat horse – and very regulary 😉

    Horse-Meat is actually much more tender and tasty than beef, especially when the horse was real old. You don’t have to cook or fry it very long. You can use steaks, mince-meat and a lot more. Its poor in calories and rich in iron and vitamines. Defintely a shame to make dog-food or glue of it.

  6. We kept the horse alive as a species, anyway. If we went back to eating it, as well as playing with it, it could continue as a species until we’re gone. Maybe we owe it the cookbook it deserves.

  7. Actually, horse-butchery saved some carting breeds from extinction in Europe. Because the Horse-Nut Girlies who are so eager to “save all horses” would not want to ride on a shaggy, heavy boned draft horse. So who would want to farm them if not for food?

    Food prejudice – yes EVERYBODY got at least one. I wouldn’t eat cats. Dogs maybe. but no cats.

  8. The only horse I’ve ever had was raw. “Basashi” is a local delicacy in the part of Japan I called home for two years.

    I must not have a very refined palate, because I didn’t think it had much flavor at all, but it certainly wasn’t objectionable. Very tender.

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