Alas, I fish no more.

I Have Retired My Fishing Pole

Even though I love all animals, I am not a vegetarian. I will eat meat from the supermarket it does not bother me. If the meat came from animals I knew or were attached to, I would not touch that meat.

The only critters I will kill are flies, cockroaches and mosquitoes. If any other bug comes into the house such as a big black spider, I will trap it and release it back outside.

I love the taste of fish. A few years ago I decided to take up fishing. I abhorred the high prices of fish in the supermarket. I thought catching my own fish would be more economical.

My mother fished when she was young. She lived on Chautauqua Lake as a child. It did not bother her then to catch fish and bash their heads senseless on the dock. Now that she is older catching and killing fish bothers her. She would not go fishing with me. I took my younger brother; he was sixteen at the time. My stipulation was that if we caught any fish he would kill them.

We went to a pond we knew of to fish. We sat for hours not catching anything. We were using rubber worms, corn and sandwich meat as bait. I would not use live worms. I have been told that worms cannot feel anything when they are skewered on the hook. Is that theory true? The people who claim that statement is true have never been a worm. If someone skewered me on a hook, I would certainly feel pain. Why does a worm wriggle when it is put on a hook? Is it wriggling out of joy?

At the pond there was an Amish man also fishing . He was catching fish after fish. He caught about twenty fish. My brother asked what bait he was using. The Amish man replied that he was using chickpeas. The fish must have loved the taste of chickpeas.

Later I ran to the store and bought a can of chickpeas. When my brother and I went fishing again we tried this bait. The chickpeas kept falling off the hook. They became soggy as soon as they hit the water. It then occurred to my brother and I that the chickpeas were too soft from the juices in the can. The Amish man probably used chickpeas fresh from the garden, which were of harder consistency. I was growing flowers, I was not willing to grow chickpeas just to use them as fish bait. I hate the taste of chickpeas.

My brother and I also went to Lake Erie and fished. We caught nothing but sunburn on the backs of our necks. We went to a creek not far from home. On three different occasions we caught nothing. The fourth time we decided to try fishing at night. All we had for light was a small kerosene lantern and one flashlight. My brother tried to hog the lantern because he was cold. He stuck it under his shirt.

Around 10:00 P.M. my brother caught an ugly and slimy fish. He looked at it dumbfounded and asked me how to kill it. I did not know, as I had never killed a fish before. My brother did his best to kill the fish even though it was a hack job.

The fish tasted bad and later ended up in the trash. This bothered me. This fish even though it was ugly and slimy had a right to live in peace as any other creature. A right to live in peace and not be hauled out of a creek and killed. Its death had no purpose. It was like telling this fish that its life had no meaning like trash.

I could not fish after that not even to satisfy my own taste for fish. I will not intentionally inflict pain on another animal. If a person tried to force me to do so, they would have to kill me first. I try to have respect for all life only killing flies, cockroaches and mosquitoes.

How could I state I love animals if with my own hands I killed an animal for my own consumption? Even if someone else killed an animal in my presence I would still be condoning its murder. Eating meat from the supermarket is different. I did not witness the killing.

I may be too soft hearted. I feel sorry for drowned worms on the sidewalk after it rains. I will pluck a drowning bug out of a mud puddle. I feel sad when I see a dead animal alongside the road.

Is it wrong to be too soft hearted towards animals? I think it is best to practice this extreme then the other extreme of being intentionally cruel towards animals. Inflicting pain on an animal for sadistic pleasure is a horrible crime just as bad as hurting a human being. An animal is just as innocent as a human. It cannot understand why someone is hurting it.

I will not fish anymore. I will not go with anyone who fishes. Even if they killed the fish themselves I would still cry. Is it silly to cry over a fish? You be the judge. I have retired my fishing pole. It is in the attic. If someone wants a used fishing pole and tackle box they can have them.

Poetry by Amy Buchanan
Read 935 times
Written on 2007-03-29 at 13:40

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Amy, this is wonderful. This despite the fact that it will be condemned as rubbish by the ipod and Macdonald generation! I know exactly where you are coming from. What a sad world we live in!
I would like it if you read my poem "LISTEN," and leave a comment. Your opinion will be truly appreciated. Love,Normalil.

well different species have different nervous systems, i am not an expert but i guess worms would fee something. chickpeas, you can get dried ones from the shop. never been fishing, not something that has ever appealed to me really. it is a dog eat dog world, eat or be eaten or at least it was for us, now we have choice being at the top of the food chain and we can afford to have a conscience with what we eat or not eat. i think it is good to know some survival skills though for you never know what tomorrow will bring, there may be a time fishing will save your life :) a good piece, i enjoyed reading this.