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"I'm a vegetarian, but I eat fish" - Page 2

post #21 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by somanythings View Post
Everytime I get involved in this conversation I hear Kurt sweetly singing in my ear. . ."It's ok to eat fish 'cause they don't have any feelings. . ."

Back to your regularly scheduled conversation. . .
post #22 of 117
I'm pesco-vegetarian and I can't tell you the number of times I've been lambasted for eating fish by a self-proclaimed vegan wearing leather shoes, belt, purse, wallet, and coat. Labels are a funny thing.
post #23 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
I'm pesco-vegetarian and I can't tell you the number of times I've been lambasted for eating fish by a self-proclaimed vegan wearing leather shoes, belt, purse, wallet, and coat. Labels are a funny thing.
My sister in law and her fiance eat honey and use animal products and call themselves vegan (even with the vegan jewellery and bumper stickers!) while my husband and I do not use any animal products. Try explaining to my poor mother in law why I'm not putting on the angora socks she bought us all to wear and match!
post #24 of 117
we call them "vegaquarians" :
post #25 of 117
For the looooooongest time my SIL would ask every time I was invited over for dinner, "You eat chicken, right?" Knowing I was a vegetarian, but somehow she thought that meant I still ate meat!
post #26 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherMother'n'Madre View Post
There is a shirt on cafepress.com that says: Yes I am a vegetarian and NO I don't eat fish.
I need that shirt! I actually have a shirt that says "vegetarian" on it and I was wearing it once when a guy selling meat door-to-door came to my house to try and sell me meat. I told him I'm a vegetarian and pointed to my shirt - I said, see I'm not lying! He then said, well I sell fish too. I was like, no thanks!
post #27 of 117
i eat mostly vegetarian food with some fish, very limited eggs and even more limited dairy.

i identify more as a vegetarian because it's easier to say that i am in a context where i might not know people well, so that i'm not sitting there explaining my diet ad nauseum and/or having nothing appropriate to eat. and in terms of using animal products for non-dietary reasons, i'm even in the vegan camp, i avoid leather. to some, that might be hypocritical, but to me, it's about mindfulness.

i don't like the religion analogy because it doesn't allow for nuances. either you're christian or you're not. but i believe you can be, like me for instance, 95% vegan with occasional consumption of animal products (fish, fish oil, eggs) for health reasons (as a nursing mom i have found that my body is much healthier with a little bit of animal protein...does it make me happy? no...but my dd deserves a healthy mama.) i BELIEVE in veg*n and
that it is the healthiest, most earth-conscious diet and lifestyle to ascribe to. but i also believe that you can be an omni and make conscious choices.

instead of sitting around engaging in a veggier-than-thou pissing contest, can we talk about how we can all, veg and omni alike, change the world by making mindful food choices? if you're omni, let's put those factory farms out of business and support small local meat providers. if you're pesco-, purchase wild caught fish that isn't on the overfished list. if you're veg*n, support organic produce, and also buy local as much as you can. if we can let go of the (restrictive) labels we can all realize that we're all in it together, and we CAN make a difference, regardless of what ends up on our dinner plates at the end of the day.

s
post #28 of 117
I'm with yellowpansy and kidspiration.

Anything related to human behavior or human identity cannot be divided into cleary delineated black and white terms. It just can't. It would be nice for everyone if we could do that, but humans are complex beings with a jumble of thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that don't fit neatly into labels.

I'm like kidspiration, I prefer a vegetarian diet and find it simpler to just answer "vegetarian", even though I do eat fish at home maybe once or twice a month. I would never say that I am "vegetarian" in a context where people who don't know me would see me fork up a large chunk of salmon, though. I try to be sensitive because I do empathize with strict vegetarians and the importance of keeping the term pure.
post #29 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
instead of sitting around engaging in a veggier-than-thou pissing contest, can we talk about how we can all, veg and omni alike, change the world by making mindful food choices?
I didn't perceive anyone on this thread as engaging in a pissing contest- I see vegetarians venting their frustrations about people who make their lives difficult by confusing the masses about what vegetarianism means.
post #30 of 117
Here's the thing about calling yourself a vegetarian and then eating fish. If you eat the fish in front of the same people that you said 'I'm a veg*n" to, then they might assume that all veg*ns eat fish. If you're going to call yourself a veg*n to someone, then you ought to eat that way in front of that person. At least until you know them well enough to explain all the nuances of your diet.

Really, I guess there's not a problem with saying 'i'm a veg*n' at work, so that you don't have to deal with meat at luncheons and potlucks, even if you eat fish 1x a week or month at home. But, if you're saying 'i'm a veg*n' at work and bringing in tuna salad and filet o fish sandwiches with you for lunch, then that's a problem. Because then you're watering down the definition of the words veg*n and thereby causing difficulties for actual veg*ns.
post #31 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
instead of sitting around engaging in a veggier-than-thou pissing contest, can we talk about how we can all, veg and omni alike, change the world by making mindful food choices?
I don't think so, because to most vegetarians and vegans, being an omni is not being mindful. Purchasing your meat from a small farm or catching your own fish is of course a better choice than factory farming, but is still not acceptable.

A discussion amongst omnis about making mindful food choices does not belong in this forum.

And, being that this is the Vegetarian and Vegan Living Forum, I should be able to say that without being accused of engaging in a pissing contest. :
post #32 of 117
I was vegan for awhile and now I am lazy sometimes ovo-lacto and yes I'm eating fish. I DO NOT call myself a vegetarian but others DO! I guess you can't win either way. I try to explain that I'm not veggie because I'm eating fish sometimes but it feels like people can't hear me. The in-laws proclaim to their nephew that, 'your auntie is a vegetarian and doesn't eat meat' yet we're having tuna sandwiches. Honestly I don't feel like having a huge conversation about what 'meat' really is.

I talked to a girlfriend and said that I had been vegan but now I am eating fish. The next day she introduces me to her veggie friends as veggie too. I was felt so bad yet I didn't proclaim my 'flaw'. I think I feel more guilty about not feeling guilty for eating fish.

Just know that there are people out there that might eat fish yet never throw up their veggie flag.
I feel like if you really want the label you'd better measure up.
post #33 of 117
i think part of the confusion arises because some self-proclaimed vegetarians do eat fish. so people get the idea that that is a form of vegetarianism. i even know self-proclaimed vegetarians who eat chicken, or who will eat any kind of meat if it's been prepared for them because they feel it's worse to "waste" the animal once it's dead than to eat it.

i'm not a vegetarian of any kind, but i just thought i'd say i agree with the PP who talked about people's different reasons for going veggie and how that affects what they deem vegetarianism. actually most of my "vegetarian" friends eat fish.
post #34 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
You can claim to be a member of a certain group because of perceived benefits, but it doesn't mean it is a fact.
What would those benefits be for claiming to be vegetarian?

Hmm . . . People think you're self-indulgent and crazy. . . People give you unsolicited advice about your diet . . . or make fun of you . . . and wait to see you do slip up so they can chastise you about your hypocrisy . . . Oh the list could go on and on . . .
post #35 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by richella View Post
What would those benefits be for claiming to be vegetarian?

Hmm . . . People think you're self-indulgent and crazy. . . People give you unsolicited advice about your diet . . . or make fun of you . . . and wait to see you do slip up so they can chastise you about your hypocrisy . . . Oh the list could go on and on . . .

OR.....

health benefits, such as lower rates of coronary disease, gallstones, diabetes, high blood pressure, colon and lung cancer, and cholesterol. the human anatomy FAVORS vegetarianism. also, dioxin is concentrated in meat levels at 22 times what are considered safe (over 95% of dioxin exposure comes from meat, dairy and eggs). preservatives in meat are also a health danger.

a sense of ethical pride knowing that you are not contributing to eating animals or to the outrageous amount of acreage that it takes to feed that livestock (over 70% of the grain in the US is used to feed livestock).

ecological reasons, such as the fact that raising animals for food is the principal cause of topsoil loss; it takes 5000 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, and only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat. also, global warming could be considerably reduced if meat consumption were also reduced.


and THAT list goes on and on as well....
post #36 of 117
I think richella meant what would the benefits be of claiming to be vegetarian when one is not.
post #37 of 117
Sometimes I think people want to identify themselves as something that sounds "good" rather than say they are a picky eater and don't want such and such - but it has little or nothing to do with an actual vegetarian diet. They would rather say "I am a vegetarian" than say "I don't like red meat."

At least I think that is true of some of the people I know.
post #38 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune6 View Post
I feel like if you really want the label you'd better measure up.
This is exactly it.
There are many things that I would like to be (like a true passifist, a buddhist, someone who makes all their own clothes, someone who never eats processed foods) but I am not these things so, as great as they are, I do not claim to fit that description. What I do is pretty good in itself and I try to do the best I can, which is what I get from you, and most people here as well.
post #39 of 117
I think a large part of the reason some omnis and even veggies are confused by fish is cultural. I remember as a child my public school served fish on Fridays for the Catholics. For some reason in the Catholic doctrine, fish are not viewed as meat, and I think it has had cultural reverbation even amongst Non-Catholics. I am not sure what other cultural views would specifically lead to this, but I have be frequently told by omnis that fish are vegetables:
post #40 of 117
According to dd, there is an article in this months Seventeen about what are the various types of non-meat eaters, which includes pescatarian as a separate category.

Personally, I'm a limited pesca (kosher fish only, and only 1 or two types because I'm picky).

Over here, fish is parve (neither meaty nor milky, but in the middle like eggs, and can be eaten with either type of food). So, I don't have meat dishes, but I can serve fish on my dairy dishes without traifing them up. Chicken on my dishes would be a big no no. Meat + ice cream for dessert = no, sushi or gefilte fish + ice cream, yes. So it is definitely a cultural category.

For a long time, my ds got mixed up between veggie and kosher. Still (he's 11) when we are at a fancy Jewish wedding or bar mitzvah or something (meat) he'll be concerned when we get to dessert because the parve desserts usually look dairy. Mom, is it kosher? No, it's just for show, right.
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