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Posted on Dec 12, 2012 in Blog, Portugal

Critters in Distress

Critters in Distress

distressed douradeOf my many blog posts, the most popular by far is the one titled “The Fish Took a Wrong Turn,” about the fish that regularly find themselves lying on the ice in some peixeria or supermarket. A few days ago I was back at El Corte Inglés to photograph the pastel de nata stand in the basement food court for a piece I’m writing later this month for Crazy Quilts, and Richard and I stopped into the department store’s supermarket for cheese. On the way to the cheese case, we passed the fish–dozens of them on ice. Since I never did provide a photo of the majestic salmon described in “The Fist Took a Wrong Turn.” I decided to get a picture of the most unhappy-looking fish. So here it is, the Distressed Dourade with his none-too-happy schoolmates.

tailinmouthSomeone told me that the dourade are actually farmed fish, which means that these didn’t have the nicest life even before they showed up at El Corte Inglés.

A popular staple in fish markets is the small sharp-toothed fish displayed with the tail in the mouth. People often bread and fry the fish in that same position.

But wait, there’s more. Leaving the supermarket and returning to the gourmet wing of the food court, I saw this suckling pig. My Portuguese-born friend in Albany said animals like pigs and cows wouldn’t exist unless we ate them, so we’re really giving them the chance to have a life. Temple Grandin, who’s one of my heroes, sucklingpigmakes the same argument while advocating for the humane housing and slaughtering of animals raised for food. This one, however, barely had the chance to live. Let’s hope it has better luck in the next life.

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