A girlfriend's criticism of fishing...

Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: May 15, 2006
To: PFIC Message Board
From: litoaznbabiib0i
Subject: Criticism from a friend.

Yesterday, I got back from fishing at Ft. Baker. I was talking with a buddy of mine online. She asked me what I did the whole day. I told her I went fishing and gave two fish “lip piercings”, then released them. She got really serious and said a whole bunch of crap I didn’t want to hear. “What if I stabbed you in your lip”..."How do you know if it’s still alive?"...yadee yadee ya...The reason I'm writing this is because I didn’t know what to say back to her...except for “uh huh,” “yeah,” “whatever.” So if you guys could help me out, that would be great. Thanks. –Jack
Where fishing ranks in my life...1. fishing; 2. Oakland A’s:D; 3. eating

Posted by Red Fish

Life’s rough being a fish!

Posted by AmericanSkin

I get this treatment all the time, from friends and family alike. There is always going to be a certain contingent that will simply never understand fishing or conservation other than the false hearsay that they acquire from others with the same mindsets.
If she's a really good friend, it's important to stay positive in your responses and never attack with smear rhetoric because that defeats the purpose of your rebuttal in the first place. Just let her know, gently, that although there is a small level of trauma that fish undergo, the vast majority of hooked sea life returns safely to the ocean ecosystem with no long term detrimental effects. Fishing and consumption is a natural part of the biological balance in nature, and apart from that it is an incredible sport or pastime (depending on how you view the activity) that brings insurmountable happiness and peace to a great number of people.
Secondly, it's important to understand the perspectives that drive your friend’s somewhat ignorant behavior. Not to offend you or anyone else that reads this board, but the fact of the matter is compromises must be and should be made in all aspects of life, fishing (and the notion of animal cruelty) included. Ask your friend if she drives a car, eats processed foods, wears makeup, etc. She is obviously taking part in one or more of the aforementioned, and as such is an active contributor to the decline of the environment and wildlife herself. This is clearly an issue of melodramatics and propaganda; because it seems that she has no real knowledge of fishing or underwater life, it is NOT her place to be making blanket statements about the delicate balances of the world around us.
I hear this kind of rhetoric all the time, on campuses, piers, the media and pretty much any other place that allows for free speech. In the realms of politics, society, and especially fishing, ignorance gets the best of many people. Take the vegan/vegetarian demographic, for instance. Most (not all, or course) of these people are young, extremely influenced by pop culture and media, and volatile emotionally. People are always looking to lash out at someone or something else to overcome their own inadequacies and insecurities. It’s important to let them know that their attitudes are dangerous, and responsibly ask for compromise in order to maintain that harmony that we so desperately need.
Good luck next time, and try not to let these kinds of statements bother you. Tight lines, man.

Posted by FakeFisherman

Seriously, try taking her fishing sometime. You can show her that fishing’s not all about butchering all the fish in the ocean. Plus, she might actually like the feeling of a fish at the end of her line. And tell her that having a bunch of metal in your face ain’t that bad!

Posted by jtstryper

Does she eat fish? If so, tell her how they commercial guys did it & how it gets to her table, Trawlers raping the sea, thousands of miles long-line. In the hierarchy of things, yours is miniscule in comparison. Stand firm & educate her, or better yet- take her fishing!

Posted by dompfa ben

You need to find that Troy McClure video on... the Food Chain!

Lisa: Good news everyone, you don't have to eat meat. I made enough Gazpacho for all! It's tomato soup served ice cold!
Guests: Hahahaha!!!!
Barney: Go back to Russia!

Posted by baitchucker

Ya oughta discuss it over a hamburger...A piercing of the lip vs. the thrashing of a shark's chompers... What would she think is more savage?

Posted by baitfish

Remind her that fish do not eat like we do, they are constantly eating spined fish, shelled crustaceans and last time I checked they don’t use a fork and knife.

Posted by gyozadude

Consistent application of Evolution. There are a lot of people who want schools to ONLY teach Evolutionary Development, and do NOT want the so-called “Intelligent Design” (i.e. the Bible - 7 days to create the universe and man, etc.).
Ironically, and hypocritically, these same folks do not want to apply the same Darwinist philosophy to survival of the fittest by the highest order species. Whether that implies true top-o-the-food chain arguments of humans and eating lower animals, or social Darwinism within a relatively strict set of rules for economic, biological, or social ascension in human society. So there in lies a fundamental inconsistency in thinking that is a mortal flaw, IMO.
Another inconsistency is the attempt to personify fish or other game animal as having feelings reciprocal to anything human. Other species have smaller brains and we cannot personify them, as much as Pixar/Disney and other cartoon animations try to make them. Those are societal Kool-aid that is best viewed as entertainment with a bold line demarking reality and fantasy. After all, who's to say that plants don't have a soul? Some people talk to their plants at home and water them lovingly and fertilize them, buy mated pairs of plants so they can socialize. Maybe plants have feelings too. Where does that line stop?
Fact is, some humans have deficient brains as well and they don’t know where to draw the line. But that small minority should not act as apologists on the rest of the vast omnivorous population that do not hold the same views. Least of all, those folks who behave vegetarian should NOT feel high and mighty over the rest of the vast majority of meat eaters, for it was and continues to be omnivorous humans that opportunistically feed on both animal and plant life that got us here, got us out of the trees, into and out of the caves, grew big brains, and engineered the farming equipment and created this economy that serves those vegetarians so well and gives them protection to survive with their niche diets.
I don't mind if someone is vegetarian until their dietary choice affects and imposes itself on me. Like catering for my local PTA and Elementary school - the 8 vegetarians in the school complain and hold the menu hostage for a BBQ that over 200 other non-vegetarian participants have subscribed to. And while the cost is just $4.50 for top quality meats and 14 other dishes per person that is juicy, tasting and satisfying, to make vegetarian Salisbury steak with premium portobello mushrooms and two other meat substitutes is an $8 expense and therefore more costly in economics. Of course some folks would argue that I could substitute soy protein... but why would I expend 80% more work just to serve another 8 guests with strange and non-adaptive diets? It's not considerate and 4 thousand years ago, that mentality would lead to starvation and destruction of that genetic proclivity.
Facts are we humans eat lots of fish and have been doing it for as long as we have written history. It is a sport and heritage that has been around for equally long, and is protected Constitutionally in California even.
To enjoy the sport of angling and to practice catch and release help hone the skill and keep us humans on top without depletion of the fish. At the same time, if some questions the survival rates of released fish, they can use their computers and Google that and find that for most lip hooked fish, the survival rates are quite high.
Fish on.
My suggestion – it’s a bad sign when a female friend criticizes you about fishing, a very good, honorable, and healthy pastime. If there was ever any romantic potential in this female friend...uhmmm, I’d urge you to reconsider. Opposites sometimes attract. But more often in nature, they collide and explode into massive energy release that might be mistaken for a mini-thermo-nuclear detonation. It’s true of relationship, just like matter and anti-matter.

Posted by litoaznbabiib0i

Thanks for all the help guys! And for gyozadude, I'll definitely take your advice on that last paragraph!

Posted by Ken Jones

You don't need Dr. Phil, you’ve got Dr. GDude. And he really does have a Doctorate but I think it’s only in physics or some other such non-essential disciple (as compared to history).