Hi, my name’s Emily and I am a pescetarian. “A WHAT?” you ask (and many people do). It’s not a well known word, and so it’s usually just easier to call myself a vegetarian, but I tend to say I don’t eat meat, as I do eat fish – so I’m not technically a vegetarian.
I stopped eating meat when I was ten, because I didn’t like the idea of animals being killed or eating them, and I’ve never looked back since (17 years, in case you were wondering).
It’s not easy being a pescy. Not only do you get judged by vegetarians for eating fish, you often get judged by non-veggies, too. “Do you not think fish have feelings?” is just one of the questions I’ve been asked before. Because of this, I always feel the need to explain myself (even though I know I shouldn’t have to), so if you must know: I always intended to give fish up too, however I’m not the biggest fan of either cheese or eggs, which makes getting enough protein difficult. In the end I just never gave it up, because I also realised I’d miss it too much – I adore smoked salmon, prawns (and fish finger sandwiches, of course) and don’t think I’d do well without them. I’d miss fish in a way I don’t miss meat – there are a LOT of good meat alternatives, but not many fish ones. So, that’s why I am a pescetarian. I don’t think eating fish is any more okay than eating meat, and I don’t eat it all that often – and when I do, I always try to ensure it’s reliably sourced, too (although unfortunately that’s not always possible).
I don’t miss meat – like I said, there are so many options out there these days for non-meat eaters. I never disliked meat, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I got the odd craving for something or other, but it’s never uncontrollable (funnily enough, many say bacon is what cracks most veggies, but I never liked it in the first place). Also, whenever I have got the odd craving for meat, I’ve always randomly seen something horrible about animal cruelty within the next few days that cements my beliefs and determination not to eat it.
There’s a view that most non-meaters are judgemental and preachy, mostly thanks to a minority that can’t be in the same room as meat, lecture others and generally give the rest of us a bad name – and unfortunately mean there are a lot of clichés around. Really, most of us aren’t that bad – I don’t care what others eat; it’s their choice what goes into their body, much like it’s my choice what goes into mine. However, the same non-judgemental attitude should be extended to us non-meat eaters – the amount of people that question my dietary choices is incredible. I don’t ask you why you eat meat, so why is it okay to ask me why I don’t?
The thing with preachy veggies is that the more you tell someone not to do something, often it makes them want to do it more. Preaching isn’t the right way of going about spreading your views; education is. So many people don’t even think about where their meat is coming from (look at the reaction to the horse meat scandal in 2013, for example). If more people did, the world would be a better place.
Basically, I eat what I want and don’t judge others for eating what they want. I just wish they’d extend the same courtesy to me, and hope they make educated, informed decisions about their diet – whatever it happens to be.
Image credit: Photo by wsilver on Flickr