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"I'm a vegetarian, but I eat fish" - Page 3

post #41 of 117
Sorry if this is OT but I whenever I hear the word pescatarian my first impression is a person who eats only fish. Just as a vegetarian, imo, strictly speaking, would eat only plant-based foods.
post #42 of 117
and just to put in my two cents........ I thought it would be really easy to be a vegetarian in (buddhist) Japan, but actually I have the same frustrations that most of you have mentioned.....

how do you get your protein?
what do you eat?
do you eat fish? shrimp? crab? (this list goes on and on and on)

and sometimes in a restaurant I order spagetti with tomato sauce (after checking and double checking that there is no meat in it) and it comes full of either 10 kinds of seafood, OR like ham and bacon and stuff.....

its maddening!!!!!!!!!!
post #43 of 117
We define ourselves as "semi vegetarian" just to give an idea of what we eat. We aren't this way for ethical reasons, so we don't mind using broth, eggs, or butter or milk etc. I don't want straight-up meat, though, and this is the only way we can define ourselves to people who want to eat with us. We dont want to say "We dont eat chicken or fish or pork or beef or dog or cat, but we don't mind if you use a little broth or eggs in your cooking!", "We're vegetarian", or "we eat whatever!" and "semi veg" seems to do it. If someone wants to know, they ask for more info. Otherwise, they usually just make a veg dish.

I'm not trying to mislead someone, I'm not trying to fit a label I'm not, its just a fast way to say what I eat. I was vegetarian for a year and came off of it for my own reasons, and I feel great health-wise when I cut back the meat, but we DO "cheat" and because of convos like this I'm not simply going to tell anyone, even friends and family "Oh we're veg!" just for the simplicity of it. Then, later, when they see us having eggs for breakfast, they go "???" and we have to explain it anyway. Semi-veg works wonders for us. They make what we want, and dont pick on us when we stray from a normal veg lifestyle. It works.
post #44 of 117
It drives me crazy too!!

I use to work at red lobster and Good Friday was always our busiest day because fish isnt considered meat!!! AHHHH!!!! SO the whole restaurant would stimk like fish(no seafood to balance the smell lol)

The funniest thing Ive ever heard was my mil...she said its funny how a chicken only eats grains but you dont consider it a vegetarian food...hmm wonder why you cant eat it?
I was like WHAT? Then cows a vegetarian food, pig ect that makes no sense!!!

People are nuts!!
post #45 of 117
I have mixed feelings about the labels. For ease of explanation, I usually identify us as vegan, but in reality we're strict vegetarian. As has been pointed out, most people don't have a clue what vegetarian is, so how are they going to figure out strict vegetarian?

Personally, I don't think people can truly be vegan, but we can all aspire to be vegan. The only animal product I've consumed in 7 years is honey (off and on), but I do have some shoes, belts, and purses that were purchased prior to then that I still wear on occasion. I still drive a car, use a computer, etc. We do what we can do, kwim?
post #46 of 117
its pretty black and white
fish is an animal.

vegetarians dont eat animal.

pescos are meat eaters. put on your big girl panties and deal with it.
post #47 of 117
Wow, some of you sound downright angry about this.

Maybe consider that people are underinformed, and work toward changing that. The same can be said of the topic of birth, organics and many other topics. We are not all at the same place and some tolerance is in order.
post #48 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma2emerson View Post
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.
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post #49 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathleenRay View Post
I think richella meant what would the benefits be of claiming to be vegetarian when one is not.
Actually, that's how I "converted" - with the purest motives of the College Freshman Girl Out to Get Some, I claimed to be veg at a party where the guy I was chasing turned out to be one. "You're Vegetarian? Me too! *shoves turkey sandwich under table* : " But then being around him, I actually educated myself and did make the switch. So there's one possible benefit of claiming to be veg when one is not. . .cute veggie boys/girls!
post #50 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Organicavocado View Post
I'm not trying to mislead someone, I'm not trying to fit a label I'm not, its just a fast way to say what I eat.
I understand!

I am one of those HORRID : people who generally says I'm vegetarian, even though I will eat seafood. It is the simpliest way to explain things. If I am really going to talk to the person about it, I'll usually say we're vegetarian...well not really because we do eat some fish. But to avoid being asked a million questions I stick to 'we are vegetarian'. Honestly though we don't eat fish all that often & I generally forget it's an option in our diet.
post #51 of 117
I'm not a vegetarian anymore but I was in late jr high/first half of high school. People would ask if I ate fish or would panic (like my aunt) and would say I HAD to eat something for protein, eat fish because it's mild OMG! YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!

And I would say "fish is still an animal and I do not eat animals, it's not that I don't like red meat, I don't eat ANIMALS." Then I would clue her in on the countless other non-meat protein sources.
post #52 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by somanythings View Post
But then being around him, I actually educated myself and did make the switch. So there's one possible benefit of claiming to be veg when one is not. . .cute veggie boys/girls!
LOL So did it work out with him?
I was vegan when I met dh, he was still eating bacon, but I do think he was impressed and that added to the attraction for him. He would have noticed pretty quick if I were faking it, but he probably would have still liked me.
post #53 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by richella View Post
LOL So did it work out with him?
I was vegan when I met dh, he was still eating bacon, but I do think he was impressed and that added to the attraction for him. He would have noticed pretty quick if I were faking it, but he probably would have still liked me.
Briefly - it was a nice college fling
post #54 of 117
LookMommy --
I was recently at a wedding of the daughter of a rabbi and another nice Jewish boy... they had 2 rabbis doing the service
Then we all retired to the cocktail hour... where we enjoyed a nice open bar and a buffet of SHRIMP and asparagus wrapped in HAM with CREAM sauce!

This wasn't event he dinner. I was STUNNED as I ate my little pasta with tomato sauce that was the only thing they could scare up for a vegetarian. I felt dirty for just being there.

Hmm, totally OT. I'll just say that I do not consider fish a vegetable. I have a hard enough time asking everyone if there is chicken broth in that soup, and then having them wonder to me why it matters.
post #55 of 117
Yeah. It bugs me when people eat ANY type of animal flesh and call themselves vegetarian. That's just wrong. Our family eats fish, but no other type of meat. We are NOT vegetarians. We just tell people we eat fish, but no other type of meat.

What really gets me is when someone offers something with meat, and we decline. Then they will say, "Well there isn't much in there. You can just pick it out". We're always like WTH?
post #56 of 117
one of dh's co-workers tells me about his vegetarian sister who eats fish. i always say "she's a PESCEtarian."

dh (an omni) was being funny the other day - he had turkey sausage and said "hey, honey, i'm a vegetarian! haha."
post #57 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by somanythings View Post
Briefly - it was a nice college fling
At first I was going to ask, well, did you bag him? But then I didn't want to make it sound like I thought you might be easy.
post #58 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
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.
Yep, this is what I do. I always say I'm vegetarian because, frankly, it's too complicated to get into what I do and don't eat. If I spend a lot of time with people where there's eating happening (say, at work) and they ask me how it is that I eat X, Y, or Z but say I'm a vegetarian, I explain my philosophy and why I claim the label when I'm asked.

To be most accurate, I'm a flexitarian. Mostly veg, with a smattering of other stuff for various reaons.

All that said, I understand that I'm a PITA to those of you who adhere to a strict veg*n diet. I get it--it appears to be the same way I feel when married women "come out" as "lesbians." So, yeah. I hear you.
post #59 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by callmemama View Post
... but I do have some shoes, belts, and purses that were purchased prior to then that I still wear on occasion. I still drive a car, use a computer, etc. We do what we can do, kwim?
I don't buy new animal based products but there were some I purchased prior to going veg that I still use, my Ugg sandles for one. When they are too worn out to wear I will buy vegan sandles but I don't see the point of throwing out perfectly good shoes and honestly, they are bad enough that if I donated them no one else would wear them.

The labels generally don't bother me - I think the more people running around calling themselves vegetarian the more it makes it look like we are a real force and not a fringe movement. I will admit though that I got pretty pissed when a couple months ago I went to a restaurant and when the waiter found out I was veg he said "Oh great, we have a number of vegetarian specials on the menu..." than proceeded to give me three different fish options :
post #60 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowpansy View Post
There are many ways to be a vegetarian, just like there are many ways to be a christian. Vegetarianism is a belief system for many and therefore not something easily defined or easily analyzed under public scrutiny. So, don't get offended if somone's definition does not fit your own.
I disagree. There words have clear meanings. A vegetarian is someone who doesn't eat animal flesh or its derivatives. Period. A fish is an animal.

The Christians I know don't call themselves Jewish even though their religion includes the Jewish holy book (the Old Testament).* Similarly, pescatarians shouldn't call themselves vegetarians even though their diet includes many vegetarian meals. (*Well, leaving off that whole "Jews for Jesus" thing--but they're pretty much the fish-eating vegetarians of the Jewish community.)

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.
So your "vegan" friend is causing exactly the same confusion that the "vegetarian who eats fish" is causing.

The problem with misusing these words is that it creates all kinds of issues for people who really ARE vegetarian/vegan. Every time a "vegetarian" orders fish at a restaurant, she's misrepresenting vegetarianism--and opening the door for those around her to, say, serve fish as the "vegetarian" option at a wedding or to assure a friend that the soup she's serving is vegetarian, when really it's made with fish stock.

I remember going to a restaurant, asking repeatedly if the couscous with vegetables was vegetarian, and then taking a bite and realizing it had chicken stock in it. The waiter assured me: "Oh, my girlfriend is a vegetarian and she says that chicken stock is fine b/c it's not actual meat." I don't want to be duped into eating something I find ethically repugnant, just because people can't use words properly.

I mean really, how much more work is it to say:
"I eat a *mostly* vegetarian diet, but I also eat fish"
instead of:
"I'm a vegetarian, and I eat fish."

ETA: Some of the examples above are different. I certainly don't care if, say, at an office function, someone says "I'm a vegetarian" and then eats a vegetarian meal--even if once a month s/he eats fish at home. But if you say "I'm a vegetarian" at the same office function and THEN eat the fish, you're misrepresenting vegetarianism and doing a disservice to people who really don't/can't eat those things.
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