Questions I get as a pescetarian
Disclaimer: This blog post was published in 2014. As of writing this disclaimer (2020) I now eat some red meat, but still try to reduce my consumption of red meat for environmental reasons.
I have been a pescetarian for a year. I decided to write this blog post because of some of the amusing, strange and curious questions I often get when someone asks why I don’t eat meat.
Pescetarianism is often described as part/half vegetarianism. The only meat that pescetarians eat is fish, shellfish and other seafood. They do not eat red meat or meat from mammals. I generally explain to others, “I don’t eat land meat or meat from land animals”.
I became a pescetarian for several reasons. At the time, my cholesterol had not lowered from my previous check-up. Upset, I decided to cut out (most) meat from my diet. I considered vegetarianism for a while, but knowing that I was still taking fish oil at the time, I settled for pescetarianism. I had also eaten chicken almost every day for several years through school. Chicken sandwiches, chicken wraps, the list goes on. Over time, I liked meat less. I also needed to eat more vegetables, and having less meat encouraged me to find my sources of nutrients elsewhere.
After a year I can say I am happy being a pescetarian and do not regret my decision. It is sometimes difficult to find food to eat, but so long as an eatery has a vegetarian option, I’m good. And I also really like cooking my own meals. Although I am not an activist of animal cruelty, or anything like that, I have found that I avoid butchers and places that sell meat because I cannot stand to see things like chicken hanging, or raw chicken. Although seafood can be quite expensive and sometimes considered a luxury food, this hasn’t set me back too much.
I do get some questions more than others, but I know people are just curious, so I will write out some questions I do get often. Some may seem silly alongside their answers, but I’m certainly not trying to mock these people. :) So if you have a curious question yourself, I am happy to answer.
Do you eat anything else (besides seafood)?
Of course. I eat vegetables, fruit, cereal, and have an otherwise average diet. Just because I am a pescetarian does not mean I only eat seafood. It just means that the only meat I eat is seafood. I like to order vegetarian options from menus, but if there isn’t one, I will happily go for fish. I do enjoy vegetarian food very much, including fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.
Do you eat seagulls?
No. I don’t know why people ask this question. I don’t eat birds, and seagulls are not considered a sea creature.
Do you eat eggs?
Yes, I do eat eggs. Eggs do not contain meat. I do eat caviar as it is fish eggs. (Did you know caviar should be chilled when served? 🧊)
Do you eat turtles? What about frogs? What about, you know, amphibians? Or reptiles?
It’s a bit funny that people ask this. The answer is no. I don’t eat any of those. The explanation I usually give is that just because I am a pescetarian, it does not mean that I eat all things that live in water, it simply means I do not eat land meat, red meat, mammal meat. While I do eat seafood, I would classify “seafood” as creatures that live primarily in water. Some frogs are considered seafood though, fun fact.
What about crabs?
A crab is a crustacean, and thus considered a shellfish, and yes, I do eat crabs.
Do you eat ducks?
I have only ever eaten duck once, and I didn’t want to. I worked on the school farm when I was in high school, and one of the only few ducks we had was eaten by a fox. After that, I felt really distraught. A year or so later, our family was at a restaurant with some family friends. I asked my dad what the meat I was eating was. He said it was duck. I was quite shocked, and I told him, “I don’t eat duck.” I wasn’t actively avoiding duck, but after that experience, I decided I wouldn’t ever have it again.
Do you eat whale?
I do not. And I would not. A whale is a mammal, and its meat would be red, and I don’t eat red meat. For the same reason, I would not eat seals, dolphins, or the like.
So where do you get your iron and protein and stuff from?
Spinach. Eggs. Fish. Beans. Lots of beans. Lentils.
What if a cow went to live in the sea? Like a sea cow?
Hahaha no, I don’t think I would. I don’t like the taste of beef anymore. The cow would still be a mammal, anyway.
I heard they are making meat from the cells of cows. So that means that no animal cruelty is involved and they can still make beef. It’s still many years away, but would you…
I got really annoyed at the person who asked this. Not only do I not favour meat much, and even though I do have concerns for animal cruelty especially when animals are brought up just to be killed and eaten, with modifications just to make them more appealing to eat, or what have you… I was shocked that this person would even consider that I would eat something that is pretty much artificial food. No. Just no.
What other specific seafood do you eat besides fish?
Crab, octopus, squid…
What about soups made from beef or chicken stock?
Sadly I have had to live with this if I buy meals outside of home. It was difficult eating ramen in Japan because I didn’t like the soup very much (beef stock). Chicken stock soups are more tolerable in taste, but at home I use vegetables, spices and other condiments. :)
Do you ever miss meat?
No, not really. As I mentioned, I don’t regret my decision.
Woodlice are technically crustaceans :9
I stopped eating meat altogether… to lose weight and to be more healthy. I used to eat meat EVERYDAY but then it started messing with the blood circulation throughout my body and I stopped immediately.
I only eat shrimp/lobster/crab – that’s all. No pork, no beef, none of that.
It’s a good post, darling. Because it educates people on the reasons behind a personal choice. :) I enjoyed reading it, as it told more about you as a person.
Anyway, I’ve never had a single problem with friends eating different things or being different in some other way. The nice thing about human beings is their variety. ;) I’ve just had huge, extremely awful situations with animalists and vegetarians/vegans who try to force their lifestyle onto others; I always told these people that I’ll continue eat meat no matter what they say, as their choices are not mine, but it’s a fact that I’ve been bullied by these fanatics since primary school, so I tend to get defensive and angry every time I get some kind of vegetarianist/animalist “sermon”.
But that’s pretty much it. :)
I was pescetarian for a while just to try it. I was willing to give up red meat but not fish because I love seafood so much. I found that my skin was clearer and the weight was easier to keep off.
I went back to a regular diet though after moving to the US. I’d like to get back into it, it’d just take some more effort than it did before because I live in a desert.
I am thinking of switching to be pescetarian. I love seafood and fish, but could do without meat.. except for maybe once in a while (I love a good steak tartare).
I can’t believe people ask you if you eat seagulls.. WTF?
I bet you never received a question like this – “Is seafood classified as a muscle?” Meat like Chicken and Beef are classified as a muscle.
I thought about turning Pescetarian. But I noticed that by eating smaller portions I’m losing weight that way. I’ve also been drinking more water and trying to stay off sodas. I do have one occasionally.
But this isn’t about dieting. It’s about finding out information why people ask you these questions. I like fish and have been craving it for the longest time. Especially Sushi. But unfortunately, I have heard rumors about something which I refuse to share with others as it will ruin the diets and I don’t want to be the cause of the ruined diets. But anyway, I love all seafood and especially lobster legs :). They’re so yummy with melted butter.
i laughed at the sea cows thing. Sea cows already exist–they’re called manatees and dugongs :P
I’ve been thinking of going pescetarian for the longest time now. The difficult thing is I really love burgers, and the occasional steak, plus my mom makes this really awesome chicken that I love. But I’m hardly healthy, and I’m aware of this. I considered going full vegetarian, but I like eggs and I love fish.
Do you think you could maybe email me some tips on how to get started into pescetarianism? :x if it’s not too much trouble. I just don’t know any pescetarians.
“What if a cow went to live in the sea? Like a sea cow?”
I GET THIS QUESTION ALL THE TIME & IT MAKES ME WANT TO SLAP PEOPLE SO I JUST GIVE THEM MY SLANTY EYED STARE OF DOOM.
Like shut up. NO. If the animal walks on the mother effin’ land, I do not put it in my stomach, that is it.
Pescetarian diets are very quite healthy, but if we eat too much fish, we are at risk of mercury poisoning. However, you’d need to consume a lot of fish & a dolphin to develop mercury poisoning.
Also, tofu is a great friggin invention because they make all sorts of things with it like fake meat & what not. I try not to get them because they’re over processed things & expensive. But I do get Almond Milk or Coconut Milk to drink instead of regular milk. It’s kind of odd to think that we’re harvesting milk from some animal to drink…the milk it uses to feed its young…like what are you doing human, get away from my boob. But anyway, yeah, it’s great if you’re lactose intolerant as most humans are & almond milk goes terrific in cereal!
I’ve found that even if you go to places where they don’t have a vegetarian option, you could just ask for the meat on the side & give it to your meat eating friends. :) Makes them want to dine with you more because more free meat haha. I’m glad you’ve made the decision to go land creatureless. :)
ALSO WTF AT THE SEAGULLS QUESTION???? UM???
Uhhhh & the meat one…..
“You know they’ve also engineered meat to be made from human feces, would you eat that?” You should’ve answered that ridiculous meat cells question with that. People.
Not a lot of people really understand our point of view until they walk a mile in our shoes either. I had a friend who didn’t eat red meat & I didn’t understand why because she wasn’t doing it for health, she just wanted to lose a bit of weight, but she wasn’t exercising at all. She was already really skinny. It completely baffled me & it actually annoyed me because her reasons were stupid. I think that was the reasoning, because I thought her reasons were stupid & that meat was delicious so wtf is she thinking! Then I took an Anthropology of Food class, blew my mind, stopped eating meat, & been a Pescetarian for almost 4 years. I have had meat since my decision though. Not like it’s unavoidable, just sometimes I will allow myself to eat it…then my stomach hates me.
GOOD THING YOU DON’T CRAVE IT, SRSLY. The only thing I crave are chicken wings on occasion, but it’s really just the sauce. Eating poultry kind of creeps me out. I made Thanksgiving turkey last year & it freaked me the eff out, but it tasted delicious. 15 pound turkey…I kind of want to vomit now? Umm yeah ranting comment, but you know, it’s like me catching up with you via comment.
ALSO with the amphibians & reptiles question…….
Do people really think that we are starving for supplementary meats…that we need to start eating frogs, lizards, alligators, or what have you? Yikes.
I hate the taste of coconut milk but I never thought of getting almond milk as an alternative to regular milk. My body doesn’t react very well to too much normal milk, but I don’t think it is as bad as what other people experience.
Haha most of the time I order meals without the meat, usually when it comes to pastas and such. I never thought of asking for it on the side!
I think one of the best things that has happened (or that I have learned) since becoming pescetarian is that I love vegetables. I looooove them. I think it taught me how yummy those things are. Appreciate to the max.
I don’t care about it. I live in a country where you often can choose a pescetarian or an ovo lacto vegitarian lunch and a lot of salad. I don’ t care what they think because there level of thinking before talking is not impressing . Most people knows nothing about nutrition and is why they need vitamin pills etc. It seems that eating meat is a religion in US.
If any of your carnivorous friends say they don’t understand pescetarians, just ask them if they’d eat human meat. Almost everyone draws a line somewhere.