A quick Q&A to myself, about eating fish but no meat.
Is that how you spell ‘pescatarian’?
I think it’s acceptable. I’ve also seen a variant with an ‘e’ (pescetarian) but I alternate between which one feels right. Lately I’ve identified more with the ‘a’.
How long have you been pescatarian?
Nearly two years now.
So you never eat meat? Like, never?
Nope. Nearly nope. When my fiance and I started, we would make excuses to ourselves for our families at special occasions like Christmas, and just eat the turkey so we weren’t a bother. This year I think I will plan ahead and make a nut roast, though I’ll need the agreement and support of the in-law-to-be and use of her kitchen while she tries to cater to everyone else!
Is there anything you miss about eating meat?
Most people say ‘bacon’ or ‘sausages’ but I’ve never enjoyed eating pork products, particularly processed ones. Bacon always felt wrong (why is it pink?), and while poultry was the last meat group we cut, it’s a bit dull and we definitely don’t miss it.
To be honest there is one thing that would make me seriously question myself if presented with it: Trinidadian goat curry. This has always been soul food to me and it reminds me of happy memories with family in Trinidad. Fortunately it doesn’t appear very often over here, so I’m not too likely to have to make many of those moral decisions!
Why did you become pescatarian?
At first, it was an experiment for my health. I did it very gradually, too, in stages, which has made adjusting to a non-carnivorous diet much easier. After removing red and processed meats, I noticed a few minor improvements to my inflammatory conditions. Later, I felt I had developed moral reasons for continuing the diet: meat isn’t necessary for survival, animals are routinely mistreated, and continuous mass overconsumption of meat is a serious threat to the environment. I felt so strongly that it led me to the conclusion that I needed to cut chicken and other white meat.
Why not be fully vegetarian? Or go vegan?
I imagine I’ll get there, as I am already saying no to certain types of seafood. As it becomes increasingly simple to eat veggie/vegan in social situations (I’m referring to options available when eating out rather than any stigma) it’ll become the natural choice. However, as I can’t really eat cheese anyway (lactose intolerant), the fish option is often the only one left if nothing vegan presents itself.
I also love Japanese food, and sushi and fish are a big part of that. If I’m going to eat animals at all, it’s the healthiest way to do so, and I limit it to three times a week.
How easy is it to be pescatarian?
I’ve started to answer this above already. I don’t struggle at home, but eating out often presents challenges. Not eating cheese or dairy often reduces my options significantly, and a good fish option can be pricey, so I tend to avoid eating out unless it’s a celebration or social event. However, I’ve not noticed any real change or detriment to my social life. One reason against going vegan at the moment is that options are still limited, and even if things are improving in London it’s still very difficult to travel in the rest of the world and not eat meat, fish or dairy at all.
What’s your favourite fish? What’s your favourite vegetable?
Those are two very difficult questions. Favourite fish is probably salmon, but like most fish it’s expensive and it’s important to find wild, sustainably caught salmon.
Vegetable-wise, I absolutely love artichokes but for simplicity nothing beats the humble lentil. I love making dhals to go with spicy food, or a hearty lentil stew or soup. Yum!