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?
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.