Bitch on the Blog

April 24, 2017

And then some

To keep you from your more urgent tasks in hand here is another one of those questions on ethics which plague me. And if I have mentioned this before (not that you’ll remember)  please put it down to my willingness to repeat myself.

So there you are. At the fresh fish counter. It’s all glistening, enticing, a cook’s dream. However, enter the unfortunate shopper (that’s me) who is also well informed about decimating stocks of various species in the oceans. Great. Now what?

I am not proud of myself which is, most likely, why I seek your thoughts yet fact is, I think to myself: “That particular fish is already DEAD. Why should I let it go to waste?” Yes, I say to the fish monger, pointing to my bounty, that’ll be lovely. Thank you. Have I just proven the law of supply and demand? Sugar. Nevertheless, the fish was ALREADY dead. Someone has to eat it.

Of course, one could spin this idea to the less savoury. Think Moby Dick, indeed any prolonged adventure at sea when the Vasco da Gamas and Columbuses of this world set sail to discover new lands and spices. There you are at sea. Since you are all already on the brink of death why prolong the agony by not eating your past-his-live-by mate? And what if you were vegetarian or vegan at sea? Yet hungry? Would you toss your principles overboard to stay alive? Actually, come to think of it – and I am a connoisseur of seafaring factual and fictional accounts – why do those who do resort to eat their own always go for the weedy first instead of the meatiest? Such a waste.


PS Please do note that I posed TWO questions/dilemmas (for the price of one post). No need to keep it short. Just pour yourself on this page. I will gnaw on any bone you throw me.



  1. In India there are some coastal communities who or otherwise vegetarians. For them fish however, is a vegetable from the waters and so they eat all kinds of fish, crustaceans etc without any guilt. But offer them any kind of meat or fowl, and they will go ballistic!

    Does that answer your two questions?

    Comment by rummuser — April 24, 2017 @ 14:20 | Reply

    • No, it doesn’t. Come on, Ramana, don’t get all lazy in your old(er) age. We are talking ethics not fish.

      Still, it’s interesting how Indians (and the rest of us) will bend like a willow in the wind to accommodate that which we want whilst pretending to adhere to man made and artificially manufactured “principles”. I am all for fish being likened to “vegetables from the water”. Soon a calf will be a fleeting frolic in the meadow, nay a figment of our imagination landing on our plate. A chicken will be redeemed by being the most unfortunate outcome of an egg.

      Where will it end? At sea? Harpoon missing?

      Upshot being: Would you eat me?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 24, 2017 @ 14:54 | Reply

  2. Yes, the fish is already dead but do you want to be the person financing it’s purchase? I am trying to move my diet in a vegetarian direction and I look at the meat and think “it’s already dead” but if I keep buying it, the supply will continue.
    Would I eat my (deceased) companion if my life was at stake? I have no idea if I could actually do that but I can’t say that I wouldn’t

    Comment by Kylie — April 24, 2017 @ 22:20 | Reply

  3. a grey, grey, grey area/arena – that for one do not wish to partake of… but when you’ve faced with your own survival, and you want to survive, I guess you would do anything to be alive. Here’s hoping I am not faced with that situation (well in the eating field)…I am already in other modes to stay alive and well – which might not seem to relate your questions but all of life is one big arena. i.e. should I stop take my asthma medication because I ethically shouldn’t worry if I had a fatal breathing attack?

    Comment by cedar51 — April 24, 2017 @ 23:34 | Reply

  4. Since I regularly offer my body as food for the Great Whites, I don’t um, quite have the same sense of guilt. In the ultra-rich enclaves of Silicon Valley, the guilt is more commonly dealt with by shopping at Whole Foods and spending US$35/pound for raw Sustainable Chilean Sea Bass. It is good that the fish can benefit from higher wages for their contribution.

    As for what I will eat when I am in some open ocean survival situation, I will wait for the time to come rather than forecasting what will be most attractive to my palate. Or perhaps I will simply decide that I have lived enough and offer myself as sustainance first to another human before re-offering myself to the sharks.

    Comment by Looney — April 25, 2017 @ 03:11 | Reply

  5. For survival, all rules re food consumption take a back seat to staying alive. I have posed that question to friends who for whatever reason have dietary rules and regulations they follow and universally they choose staying alive. Now as to that other question, the dilemma is well the fish is dead, best not to waste it or is the waste better in the long run if it causes consumption to br reduced or eliminated. That could go either way but where I live most seafood is farm raised so there are no such issues. One of my fave foodie TV guys is Andrew Zimmern – the Bizarre Foods guy. He is a big proponent of eating many species of fish that are typically not consumed and even considered trash fish. There are many options available ut commercial fishing can wipe out a species relatively quickly.

    Comment by Chuck McConvey — April 30, 2017 @ 16:08 | Reply

    • I am still in shock having read about a species (employed I believe in the next instalment of Aliens – not that I have even watched the first one – but will as I need frightening). What’s it called. Goblin Shark. They live well below where any diver will go. Still, considering my fear of water engulfing me and the reason you’d have to pay me handsomely to go on a cruise or any old boat as much as I am enamoured with Nantucket, I can see it now. I’ll drown. I’ll sink to the bottomless bottom of the ocean. And become some Goblin Shark’s amuse bouche.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 30, 2017 @ 17:57 | Reply

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