This tattoo is in memory of a fish that I witnessed in person being beaten to death. For a school project I chose to capture pictures of animals in their natural environment and ironically I thought joining my dad on a fishing trip would be the perfect place to do this. I hadn’t even considered that he was there to remove them from their environment. Anyway, it was my first time out on a fishing boat and my dad had guides with him who were to help with the boat and the fishing.
I sat and watched as they caught the first fish and yanked them out of the sea. After having caught them by a hook in their mouth, the two guides on the boat then proceeded to beat the fish with baseball bats. They were laughing and saying the strangest things to the fish while they hurt them and while the fish bled and struggled to breathe, and shaked violently, dying a slow, painful and unnecessary death. I don’t know if you’ve seen rays before but they nearly always look like they’re smiling which made it all the more disturbing. I began crying and was in total shock at the enjoyment of murder and the suffering of another being I was witnessing. My dad apologised that I had to witness that and acknowledged that it wasn’t right, yet he didn’t apologise for partaking in it. It was like something out of a horror movie.
This was a turning point for me and I flipped the project around into an animal rights one and instead started to photograph the blood and the knives and the bats. I have since learnt that beating fish to death is common practice. I couldn’t get the image out of my head of this poor fish and they have stayed with me ever since. I am so sorry that I couldn’t save you. I’m so sorry that they took you from your family, friends & home. I’m so sorry that they took your life & laughed at your misery. I’m so sorry that I once thought this was ok. And I’m so sorry this continues to happen to many others just like you. I’m so sorry that some of my species find enjoyment in your suffering. I didn’t get to know you but i know you didn’t deserve that. Thank you for your love. Your love lit the way. & I’ll never forget that 💞 (& thank you to my husband for creating this @jimmygalan )