Saturday, 27 November 2021

I just witnessed murder most fowl and ritual live disembowelling …

T’was the Robin, in the shade, M’lud
… right here on our lawn. I was idly birdwatching, one of “our” Magpie Robins prancing and strutting about, when it darts full tilt six feet or more and impales a lovely yellow and black butterfly. And as I watch proceeds to eat it, as the flutterby struggles with its last breaths.

Which brings to mind that horrid as Homo sapiens can be, we tend not to eat our prey while it’s still struggling. 

Mostly. I’m reminded of a “Live Fish” (活鱼, huo yu) dish served up to us in northeast China fifty years ago. A fine fish on a platter, still moving. We eat the flesh chopsticked off, down to the head and backbone, still wriggling. One of the Aussie guests, scientists on an exchange program, was rather taken aback and asked “but isn’t this cruel?” his host replied “yes, it is!” laughing…. Then told us how it’s done. The fish, usually carp, is quickly gutted while still alive, the head wrapped in a wet towel to keep it from cooking, dipped in boiling oil for a few seconds and popped in a plate for our schmeck. 

Our Magpie Robin is just doing her stuff, to live. Not knowingly cruel. That’s life. And death.