The above piece She Takes She Shares is a grouping of four river fish – Coho Salmon, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout and Blue Gill – hanging together on a fishing line, currently at IPCNY for their Winter Prints/2016 show until March 26, 2016.
Since creating Fishtallation, I have been moved by a variety of stories that people have shared of childhood memories, personal achievements and more related to fishing. These beautiful moments have me questioning my vegetarianism. It has been 8 years since I last ate meat. After a year of losing two close family members, adopting my first dog, reading books like Fast Food Nation, Eating Animals and The Ethics of What We Eat, I was overcome with a new outlook on food. This experience produced my thesis on Animal Heads – my need to confront the death of an animal to it’s face, give a nod to those who source their own food, but also to replace a sport with animal heads as trophies. In no way could I preach enough to get everyone on the same page, especially when I have so many questions. Therefore, I have welcomed conversations in hope it will help me personally understand food and death.
Now that I’m getting older and it’s been nearly a decade of practice, I’m reevaluating why I am still a vegetarian and whether or not I could eat meat in situational settings. The question, “Do fish have feelings?” comes up a lot, but one thing for sure is that human beings have feelings. The first chapter of being a vegetarian never considered the effects of those around me and this next chapter is to include them and be included. Sharing a meal with someone should not be taken for granted. Refusing a meal, especially a thoughtful one that took hours of preparation and love, leaves friends, potential friends and family hurt. Then I hurt. And one day I might have kids. What will they eat? Should I care what the person I am dating is eating even though he may be a wonderful person? If she takes a life but she shares it with another life, is that ok?
This post has no answer, and I know I can only come up with the answer that works best for me, just like you would come up with an answer that is best for you. It is my hope that this starts a dialogue to support what I believe is an important decision. See comments on Instagram.