Without any knowledge of good and evil, the little creature happily hops between your fingers and toes. The best animal of our North Sea is undoubtedly the gray shrimp. In low tide and offshore winds you can sweep it well along the coast. Cook in a saucepan of sea water, with a little Zaanse mayonnaise and just a spoon – head and coat, because peeling is a temptation. Hence the ready-made trays in the super, which I also happily eat to the fullest, but for different reasons: the knowledge that the animal has been taken off by the tender hands dyed with henna of the most beautiful girls in Morocco. Then I close my eyes and with each bite I see a bronze Atlantic mermaid, the innocence of a naked butterfly, carried by the undulating rhythm of my clean hips, eyelashes curled from under the veil, it’s a prawn’s belly .. Well, you understand I don’t miss mayonnaise.
What did you say? Didn’t you know that behind all those shrimp dishes is pure Moroccan women’s race? Look, we Dutch think exfoliation is an ineffective fidget, and it is, so we delegate it strictly to countries where women do their best to get a tip without whining. For many years now, containers have been transporting frozen shrimp from Ostend to Tangiers and back again.
I could always hide this new style of bondage, remembering those delicate henna hands. Until this summer, when I had the disastrous idea of steaming the Wadden Sea with a Groningen shrimp cutter, then all the romantic hand henna vanished at once.
Before dawn in Lauwersoog, four marine maniacs: the captain, the sailor, the photographer, and me. Coffee and cake in the basket. The sky is gray, the waves crashing into the bow, I armed with a fishing rod and scopolamine plaster behind my ear. Immediately, a legion of seagulls chase after the first beam trawls sink and tear down the bottom. After a few hours, the loot is unloaded into large containers. Thousands of jumping clowns ten-legged clowns. They all go through a steel spinning spool, then sort, rinse, and finally boil in sea water into pretty pink models—very pregnant models, because each one turns out to be full of roe. Kill the pure fetus, right?
It gets even worse, because simultaneously with three baskets of pink candy, four baskets of silver and bronze are harvested. four baskets with thousands of baby bones, baby fish, baby squid, herring, baby anchovies, and baby mackerel; Mashed, sewn, ground, dead, each smaller than a postage stamp. See here the silent nurseries of genocidal conscience. Look at this genius miniature glory that was clinically dumped at sea as an ‘bycatch’.
On the way back, standing at the arch, I look at the horizon for a long time. Real suffering rarely occurs in broad daylight, but often in complete darkness. From now on, just the scoop network for me.
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of September 14, 2021
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