Pescatarianism Is Still Cheating


Today I ate sushi. I ate sushi last Friday as well. Cheap, refrigerated, slightly mushy sushi you get at a grocery store, but sushi nonetheless. Sushi is one of the most delectable edible creations on the face of the planet. Have you ever had good, fresh sushi? Or how about a delicious, still steaming, tempura roll? I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it.

The last few weeks since deciding to try the vegetarian path have not been as successful as I’d hoped. It started with trying to finish the meat that I’d already bought, then after that I went a good week without any meat. But also without much of anything else. Those days, which included the first full week of classes, I ate some fruit for breakfast (which is a healthy first step), usually no lunch, and maybe a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner. If I lifted weights one day, I’d come home from the gym and eat a big ‘ole spoon of peanut butter to get some protein.

Yeah, I’m not exactly the healthiest eater to begin with. Which was supposedly the whole point of becoming vegetarian: To have more control over what I was ingesting. Yeah, that’s not exactly working yet.

Cutting out meat is so hard when you don’t have much experience with cooking beans, lentils, healthy vegetables, and the other staples of a vegetarian diet. Quinoa is really wayyy more expensive than it needs to be, as are other meat replacements (veggie burgers and the like – I’d love to make quesadillas with soy chorizo, but can I afford it? Nope). Whole grains are not cheap, no matter what baked good they’re going into, and don’t even get me started with fruits and vegetables! Which brings me to my next point, which is one of the oft purported reasons behind the obesity epidemic in America. Those of lower socioeconomic status are not in the financial position to buy raw fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and instead are forced to buy over-processed foods with very little nutritional benefit. Many people (such as the 47% that Romney keeps talking about as “victims” looking for handouts) aren’t able to purchase healthy food, because it’s just too expensive. Also, don’t get me started on Romney. Just don’t. I might just cut a bitch.

I think I’m getting off track here. The point is, I’m not being very good at being a vegetarian, and I bring up sushi because even though I’m having trouble being a vegetarian, I feel that I’d be doing myself a disservice by reducing my meat intake to only fish (so I could eat said delicious sushi without guilt).

This isn’t meant to be any kind of comment against individual pescatarians! I just personally don’t think it makes much sense. If you don’t eat meat because of moral reasons, why would you eat fish? Because they’re stupider? Or they don’t have as many feelings, or pain receptors? I don’t know guys, have you ever seen a fish flop around and suffocate in open air? Not fun.

If you don’t eat meat for health reasons, again, why would you eat fish? The mercury levels found in fish, especially ones like tuna, are particularly high, and even if they don’t go over the “safe” levels determined by the FDA, I’m not so sure I want ANY mercury in my system if I can prevent it. Not to mention the top floors of the FDA is full of corrupt businessmen who would kill their mothers to make another dime.

I guess my real point is, I’ve been a total fail whale (pun totally intended) when it comes to really consciously restricting my meat intake, but at the same time, I’m not tempted to take the cop-out and cut out everything but fish, no matter how much I love my sushi.

I’m not a very patient person, so when it comes to my vegetarianism, I get really disappointed in myself when I decide to going against my decision and eat meat. It’s very disheartening, to say the least.


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  1. Don

     /  September 19, 2012

    OK, first off, I lived in Japan for two years and have some of the freshest and more importantly most authentic sushi there is, and yes, it is very delicious.

    I think what once we define something or put a word to something, the entire practice becomes less sincere. How many times have you heard someone say “I am a vegetation” or less often “I am a pescatarian” and wondered if you should care and why are they telling me.

    I feel you should live your life how you want. I also feel is someone offers you steak and you dont want any, say “no thank you” instead of “I am a Vegan” or “I am a semi-vegetarian” or “I am flexitarian” and I have had my fill this month.

    I think the label then just is unnecessary.

    There is one major exception. Kangatarianism.


  2. Anne Jasinski

     /  September 19, 2012

    I’ve been pescatarian for a little over 6 years and I call myself vegetarian only because people tend to think “pescatarian” sounds like a religion (I don however joke that Pescatarian is like being a Catholic Vegetarian since we don’t count fish as meat).

    My reason for becoming pescatarian doesn’t have anything to do with animal rights because I believe we’re the dominant species on the planet and as such we can eat whatever we damn well please. I do however care about human rights and the way that meat is produced is terribly inefficient and downright wasteful. Here’s an article that sums it up pretty well: It’s a little old, but it presents the case very clearly.

    • I read the article and it does give some pretty clear numbers on why the meat industry is abominable in terms of the economy. But doesn’t eating fish have similar impacts? The amount of wild-caught fish is dwindling from over-fishing, which is seriously damaging ecosystems. In terms of fish farming though, there’s just as much waste as in other meat production. Tons of waste, feeding the fish things that would better serve humans (corn, soy, etc), not to mention the runoff from fish farms that contaminates our drinking water.

      Like I’ve said before, there’s nothing wrong with eating meat, or fish, or dairy, or any animal products. I’ve just read and seen enough to decide for myself that it’s not what I want to consume anymore.


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