My Foray Into Pescetarianism

Meat versus dead animal flesh.

One obviously sounds much better and more appetizing than the other.

I’ve been a pescetarian for approximately ten months and people still ask me why I made the transition.  And you’d think that after ten months, I would have a succinct, well-defined answer.  But the sad truth is that I don’t.

I used to fumble around and try to come up with something quickly.  I didn’t want to take up someone’s time with the laundry list of things I wanted to include.  Plus, although they were asking me my reasons, I didn’t think they genuinely cared.

I didn’t know how to explain speciesism or how detrimental it is.  I didn’t know how to explain that it is a form of oppression that is of course so different than sexism or racism or classism, but still has strong ties to those forms of oppression.  I didn’t know or want to have to explain that speciesism often works in tandem with those kinds of oppression and is so systematically institutionalized that people don’t even know what it is.  I didn’t know how to explain that just because something “tastes good” doesn’t mean I should be eating it.  There are a ton of things that are totally great and beneficial for the person acting or doing it, but it’s not that great or beneficial for the other party.  (see: slavery, sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc.)

And maybe it’s me trying too hard to be socially conscious, but I’d rather be someone that tries too hard and makes it a huge deal than someone who doesn’t care at all.  Because at the root of it, I think I tie being conscious of speciesism (and all the other forms of oppression in the world) to being less selfish, less ignorant, less hateful.  Speciesism allows us all to disassociate the suffering of animals from what ends up on our plate.  And honestly, it took me a while, but I began feeling uncomfortable at the images and videos of what truly happens in factory farms.  And I didn’t want to be someone who felt uncomfortable, but did nothing about it.  

This little video is an interesting insight into the factory farming industry and the power of marketing. It’s short, so take some time to watch it if you have a chance!

The power of a consumer is huge.  To me, I don’t think I could rightfully say that I fight against all this injustice in the world, and still turn around and eat another living, feeling being because I have more power than it does in normal contexts.  As a consumer, I am trying my hardest to not support companies that harm other living beings (animals and humans too!) and the oppressive ideology that they tie into.  Because when you eat meat from certain companies, you aren’t just eating meat. You’re supporting the mass killing of living, emotional beings that have done nothing wrong except be an animal that isn’t a human.  And often times, those companies support a lot of other shady shady business (Tyson, Smithfield Foods, and Chik-fil-A are linked to anti-LGBT ideology).  Intersectionality works in good ways, and bad. But, that could be another post entirely (and if you’re interested, I can hook you up with some good readings).

If other people eat meat around me, okay.  That’s all fine and good.  But the only thing I ask is that consumers are conscious and fully aware of the pain, suffering, and cruelty that they inflict by supporting factory farms (both on the animals and on human workers — many workers in factory farms face psychological issues because of the intensive killing they do…I also have some readings for that if you’re interested).  If people can be okay with that, then that is their decision and their choice. But don’t go around telling me that I’m “missing out” on eating multiple dead cows or chickens.  

And of course, as a side note, yes, I am still eating seafood.  I’m still trying to come up with ways where I can cut it out of my diet, and it is possible.  But, it’s difficult and it would help if I did have support.  Cutting out meat was hard enough when people around me, friends and family especially, poke fun at you or try and force feed you against your wishes.

It’s hard when you are around friends who eat meat when you choose not to, but there are definitely ways meat eaters can support their friends and their beliefs. Tune in next time where I will write about ways you can support your vegan, vegetarian, or pescetarian friends, even if you aren’t one yourself.

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5 thoughts on “My Foray Into Pescetarianism

    • Christina says:

      Yes, unfortunately I do.
      It’s been ten months since I cut meat out of my diet and I thought I would also cut seafood too, but it’s been difficult, as I am anemic. My family is already worried that I don’t get enough nutrients in my diet. I am slowly trying to remove it from my diet too, but there are “cultural” issues, as many members of my family identify with traditional Chinese culture, which includes eating certain dishes that have meat and/or fish. I could write a post on that later, but even though I don’t associate my Chinese heritage with eating meat, a lot of my family members do. It’s been frustrating to try and express that I respect my culture and its traditions when they are so closely tied with food and respecting one’s elders.
      In terms of fish, if you have any recommendations for how to make the transition a little easier, they’d be greatly appreciated.

  1. mike and brandy says:

    not sure I’d have any pointers that would prove helpful in the light of your specific cultural and familial difficulties. my family growing up ate a lot of fish and I still have a yearning for my salmon and tuna.
    it’s probably easier for me given that I don’t have any particular cultural draw to sea foods, but then again… what will I do for Thanksgiving Day feast?

    I guess on second thinking, we all have some reasons for finding it more difficult to make the switch. it’s really just a matter of overcoming those in favor of our personal health and compassionate response to the suffering and death we still participate in while we reason it out with ourselves.

    I’m still making the changes too so I’m certainly not the one to make anyone feel ‘less than’ and I apologize if my comment came off that way.

    Good and Healthy Eating.
    -mike

  2. Christina says:

    Yes, I am still definitely learning. The smell of fried chicken still makes me hungry, but I push past it because I know it would be bad for me and ethically, I don’t think I can justify killing an animal for my own benefit. I know that in time, I’ll feel the same way about fish and other seafood. It’s just taking longer than I expected!

    An apology is not necessary! I understand how me eating seafood and not land animals can be confusing. I have had other people question why I still eat fish, and so it’s always a good dialogue to have. There are so many factors that go into the choices one makes, so I thank you for allowing me to express my personal choices.

    Wishing you all the best as well, Mike!

  3. Haruna says:

    Hi Christina,
    Good to see your writing. It’s passionate, communicative, and well thought out. A major suggestion to jumping into vegetarianism is to not force yourself and do indulge in fish (or meat even) when you feel the need to. Your body may have started to naturally draw away from these things once you’ve had a taste of it. (It’s not quite the same after a period of abstaining, painful even for consumption). This way, you won’t fall prey to relapse as the tension caused by brute-will self control will snap like a rubber band. Though, you may be the type of individual who can achieve a major diet change through sheer belief.

    Supporting you all the way. Make sure to keep your iron count up. Black bean burgers are delicious, they sell them at Which which too. ❤

    http://bembu.com/iron-rich-foods-for-vegetarians-and-vegans

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