43 of 365: ‘Sport’ fishing

I hate fishing shows. I hate the way they purposely set out to get a fish to bite a barbed hook which brutally tears into its flesh and then reel the poor thing in, pulling on that hook which must be causing excruciating pain.

Usually after quite a fight, the fish is yanked out of the water and held aloft for the camera. The hook is removed and the fish gasps for life while the super-proud angler describes why it’s a beauty and how catching one like this is a great achievement.

Many photos later, and after what must feel like an eternity to the fish, it’s tossed back in the water and the process starts all over again.

To mean it just seems so cruel and so bloody unnecessary.

I understand the food chain, but just hooking fish for the purposes of ‘entertainment’ is beyond my comprehension.

I always end up coming back to: if humans were treated like that, the outrage would be palpable and we’d seek our revenge.

How I wish our empathy was as developed as our commercialism.


10 of 365: ETs

Aliens live amongst us! In plain sight!

Maybe not the pasty-skinned, bubble-headed, big-eyed, spindly-armed kind (although I’m sure we all know someone who fits that description!) Nope, I mean all the different mineral, plant, bug, fish, bird, reptile, animal species who inhabit this big bit of rock.

We don’t need to look further than our own planet for Aliens. They live in the oceans, rivers, swamps, deserts, forests, jungles, trees, our homes. Underground, above ground, in piles of poop, algae, and slime.

We eat them (sometimes they eat us), wear them, learn from them, use their special skills and curative properties for our own needs. We even love and care for them. I’m looking at my cat right now; fast asleep with a full belly and not a care in the world. When her kind arrived on Earth many thousands of years ago, they weren’t silly. They quickly established themselves as rulers and they’ve pretty much stayed that way. Now that’s clever!

Like humans, all the different species have their own language, work-forces, societies, hierarchies, habitats, food preferences. Maybe Earth was deemed to be the most habitable planet so species from all corners of the Universe, including us humans, made our way here. We arrived, found the most suitable environments where we could thrive, and agreed to share a common home. (How I bet some species deeply regret that decision – to share with humans.)

When someone makes a movie that has aliens, the creature artists always look to nature for inspiration. And why wouldn’t they? There are so many weird and wonderful things right here. To up the ante and give us something really strange and fantastic, all they pretty much do is mix ’n’ match species.

We can stop looking to the stars and beyond for extra-terrestrials. We just have to look in our own back gardens. They’re everywhere.

And humans are aliens too because we are as odd and strange-looking to them as they are to us.