Fish Monger | Mark Lindsay

Sunday I bought a fish. Sick of Safeway and its hermetic seals, I went to the farmer's market. There you know what the food is and from where it comes. Contrary to the Safeway illusion, meat is not born in plastic trays. It comes from animals that once lived.

I am not a vegetarian though I respect those who are. Vegetarians are keenly aware of the sources of meat. Most markets in most other lands display meat more honestly than we generally do in the USA. Heads are still on many of the carcasses. Sometimes the animals are still alive at market. I've always believed that this is a more honest way to deal with meat, everyone should know from where it comes.

After I bought the fish, a young man cleaned it for me. I couldn't help but think of our Native Americans and their sacred food ceremonies. Native Americans only killed what they absolutely needed. They treated the animals they ate with reverence, some as deities. The young man cleaned the fish efficiently and quietly. I watched him from behind a mesh curtain. The screen separated me from the act and made it feel more ceremonial. That fish died for me, a realization I'd never know in the Safeway aisles.