This story reminds me of my first [and last] experience of fishing when I was a child. My fish had swallowed the hook and a fisherman “retrieved” the hook. That ended my days of fishing, thinking there and then, the pain and cruelty inflicted on an innocent creature was not my idea of “sport”.
– Willaim N.
I loved my grandfather dearly, but I could not fish because I knew it hurt them and that they suffered. Of course, he said it didn’t hurt them, but I never believed him, and to this day, I find eating meat to be difficult. Consequently, I have decided to check into becoming a vegetarian.
– Bryna P.
Me and my dad used to go fishing together we would always throw the fish back and they would dive in but one day the fish swallowed the hook and we tried to get it out but couldn’t so the fish just floated on top of the water I was so sad I started crying. I’ve never gone fishing since
– Noura K.
Only ever caught one fish. It was sad! I threw it back
– Nirvana J.
My family fished as a “come together” sport as well. I hated it then as I do now and don’t participate. I’m glad you stated so eloquently
– Laurie D.
My father’s elk and deer hunting (and subsequently the big bodies in muslin bags hanging centrally from inside our garage, dripping blood), was one of the main tipping points for me becoming vegetarian in my late teens (now 52, heading into veganism). It was the trip up the Alaska highway, catching that one beautifully iridescent rainbow trout — the only fish I think I ever caught — that made it the last. I had to club it to death, to ‘end it’s suffering’, which I had inflicted. I remember feeling morose all night, and didn’t eat the fish with the rest of my family. Somewhat hypocritically, I didn’t stop eating fish… I just stopped catching them. Now, all these years later, inspired by my 14 year old daughter, I’m going further into veganism. Fortunately the climate for vegetarians and vegans is now so vibrant — from local food economies to overflowing recipes, ideas, nutrition information, access and availability — that to leave the world of GMO salmon (it’s almost here), farmed shrimp in chemical- and drug-infested waters, cows given growth hormones which ‘udderly’ devastate their bodies, chickens suffering in tiny cages with their beaks and wings cut off, dying oceans toxified with mercury, plastics, radiation, and other heavy metals… it’s easier than ever to turn away from all that. The future will not be in eating flesh. If we have a future, it will be in vegetables, legumes, fruits, and the bounty of nature. Get rid of your guns! Plant a garden! Enjoy
– JJ L
Reminds me of a story my 83 year old father wrote about going fishing with his brothers and cousins on a stream running through the family farm in East Nassua, NY in the 1930’s. He watched as the others caught all the fish by hand without hooks, then physically killed the trout to prevent them from jumping out of the bucket. He hated watching the killing and has never liked or eaten fish since that experience.
– Steve R.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. As a kid, I never liked “hooking” the fish and then watching them struggle to the death. I have a pet fish in a large bowl in my kitchen. When I go to feed him in the morning, he stops swimming and just looks at me. I’ll trace my finger around the glass bowl and he will follow it. It’s like he has his own unique personality and intelligence. Upon discovering this, it made me realize how precious these little guys are and that I no longer desired to eat fish anymore.
– John L
I don’t understand how fishing is called relaxing knowing that the fish have to suffer so much. First they swallow a hook and then have someone pull it out. That has to be painful. Next they are put in a small pail to suffocate. I’ve had an aquarium for decades and hate that I have it and those fish are in captivity. I haven’t bought a fish for several years, and are waiting for the ones I have to pass on and I will not replace them. Many of the fish are over 5 years old, but they just keep going and going.
– Dianne D.
Heartbreaking, yet beautiful story. I’m sitting here crying as I read it because my late grandfather used to take us fishing when we were young. We never kept what we caught because they were all small “sunnies”, and threw them back in. He taught us how to carefully take the hook out. I didn’t know at the time, that it STILL is wrong and hurts the fish. The fun parts I remember (which were NOT fun for my grandfather) were getting his favorite bobbers (floats) caught in the trees. I think we liked tree fishing more. We could find our usual spot on the lakeside by all of the bobbers hanging in the trees. I was also taught how to shoot with a bow and arrow. Thankfully, I was never exposed to the hunting my grandfather did (not for girls) and the trauma I’m sure that would have caused. Thank you so much for this powerful story. People tend to forget about the non meat creatures. They have feelings too.
– Kathy Z.