Trelograms #6 — What Does It Mean To Be Alive?

My host Sasha invited me to go fishing — was that excitement or discomfort?

One way or another, i was certainly curious.

From what i understood, they leave nets permanently set up along the canal, and go every evening check if anything got caught in them — there was one this time, whom i found to be surprisingly settled, not sure if because already tired from trying to escape from the net the whole day, or resignation to its fate.

It was not quite my first time ever fishing, but it was the first time i remember paying attention to what was happening. It was also the first time i ate an animal i watched being killed. In particular, i had never seen a fish being cleaned before — the reflexes were still there several minutes after that — so, when did it die? — was it when its brain was removed? — or was it when the cat ate it? — what is ‘it,’ anyways? — has it ever been alive — what does any of that even mean?

Sasha doesn’t eat fish.


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Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my chronicles and concrete travel advice on cycle touring, hitchhiking or in general. The series title is a word play between ‘telegram’ and ‘trélos’ (Greek for ‘mad’). Follow the links to read more, and sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list to be notified when new articles go live and get other updates


0 thoughts on “Trelograms #6 — What Does It Mean To Be Alive?

  1. São reações químicas que geram essas contrações no tecido muscular do peixe (ocorre em outros animais também). Particularmente, entendo a morte (animal) como a falência irreversível do sistema nervoso central.

    1. Agradecido pelo comentário 🙂
      Eu cada vez menos entendo com precisão o que significa estar ‘vivo’ — entre um quark isolado e o sistema nervoso central de um animal há um vasto espectro de estágios intermediários onde não somente não tenho idéia de onde começa o que está vivo (ou senciente) — e mesmo que um sistema nervoso central seja o suficiente para dar origem a uma experiência subjetiva, sabemos pouco sobre o que de fato dá origem a essa experiência, se é que ela sequer existe da forma como a descrevemos coloquialmente, e que outros tipos de sistema de repente a possuem!

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