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May 28, 2008

Gone Fishing

StephUntil recently, my boys have enjoyed my fairy tale version of fishing: with a child-sized fishing pole and no hook- just a little plastic fish on the end that they can cast out and reel in. But then a few weeks ago, we were outside with family by a pond and before I knew it, they had child-sized fishing poles with real hooks and um, actually caught a real fish.

Of course they were super excited at this achievement! And I was super mortified that now my husband had to try to work that hook out of the poor fish's mouth and throw it back in the water. This is a sport? Mutilating an innocent living creature just to see sheer delight on my children's faces? No way would the people around us feel the same about poking a dog in the eye or hooking a cat in its mouth for fun (well don't quote me on that.)

So, we can't hear it crying or yelping in pain like most animals, but does that mean it still doesn't hurt? I found myself wishing we could just kill it and put it out of its misery. Like this fishing thing would be more justified if we were going to eat it. But just throwing it back? And hubby thought killing it would be more cruel. Which, I guess if you think about it, it is. But I was a bit flustered. I mean, I'm no animal rights activist and swing from vegan to vegetarian to meat eater every other week, but this is not something I'm comfortable with letting my children participate in. I'm ashamed, actually. Is there any good in it at all?

I really think my sweet boys just wanted to see a fish up close, and maybe touch it. But I truly think that if they understood that what they were doing was hurting it, they would not have been so happy. At least that's what I hope. I'm also hoping they'll forget that day ever happened and a trip to the aquarium will suffice next time. I personally haven't been able to forget that day and have since released two spiders back outside. And am vegetarian again this week. And I'm really trying to show love for this darn fly that has been taunting me since yesterday.

Original Chicago Moms Blog post. Stephanie blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

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