Vegetarians... who eat fish.

(167 Posts)

I suspect this has been done before but, here goes...

We probably all know people who are 'strict vegetarians' apart from the fact that they eat fish. And chicken. And the odd cat, if they're especially peckish and it doesn't move fast enough.

Personally, I don't especially lose any sleep over what other people eat or don't eat. I'm a vegetarian, and like most that I know, consider it my personal preference not to eat meat, just as it is that of others to eat the stuff.

It does, however, rankle slightly when people think you are unreasonable or unusual to not eat fish when you are vegetarian: I've seen more my fair share of eye-rolling and 'well, my strict vegetarian friend eats fish, so it must be okay, you utter loon' - type attitude. A lot of people just don't 'get' it.

Anyway, what has made me start a thread on this topic, even though I doubt it's the first time it'll have been aired on here?

Today, my childminder (otherwise a lovely, lovely woman who I trust absolutely with my child's care) gave my daughter fish fingers because they were out at a fast food place, and she thought they were ok for vegetarians. Now, she thought she was doing a nice thing, but not only has my daughter now been given meat when I really wanted to avoid that happening for as long as possible, I am upset because we have a seafood allergy in my family- so there's potential for serious consequences.

PS: before anyone asks, yes- I did fill in a form listing dietary requirements, and mentioned not only that we were ovo-lacto vegetarians, but that it was really important to avoid any nuts as we have serious allergies in my family. I don't expect her to carry this around with her: the fact is, this prevailing attitude that fish is fine for veggies led to her making an assumption.

Really more of a rant/pointing out of an 'ishoo' than an AIBU, I guess..! smile

lottiegarbanzo Fri 18-Jan-13 19:21:42

You are of course right. Well done for illustrating with a real example of someone acting on that assumption - in previous threads, pescatarians have sometimes denied that describing themselves as vegetarian occasionally for convenience could possibily have any impact on anyone else.

(And yes, there have been numerous threads, this seems to have come up every couple of weeks in the last few months!)

hzgreen Fri 18-Jan-13 19:22:54

We've been quite lucky so far in that both the childminder and the nursery asked about fish when I said we were vegetarians but I would have made a point of telling them anyway precisely because of this misconception.
I know many people won't agree or understand but I get where you're coming from, I would be upset too about the whole fish finger thing. Did your dd like the fish fingers?

ReluctantMother Fri 18-Jan-13 19:23:33

If someone eats fish they are not vegetarian. Your childminder must be incredibly stupid.

I get asked :"Do you eat fish"
"No I don't" I say

"Oh, so you're a Vegan ?" they ask

nooooooo I'm a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian.

<<sigh>>

BinarySolo Fri 18-Jan-13 19:27:30

I never understand how people don't get this. Fish is not a vegetable! Maybe you need to quote phoebe from friends and state 'no food with a face'.

If the form said 'ovo-lacto' not everybody would understand that. You should have made it clear. And your daughter has not been given meat; she has been given fish. Fish is fish; not meat. Okay, so you're disappointed and you have every right to be, but you really should have been more clear with the child-minder.

I hope you've managed to rant here and not at the childminder. smile

herladyship Fri 18-Jan-13 19:28:10

I would be annoyed that CM gave a veggie child fish! I would expect a paid childcare professional to be clear about dietary requirements, so YANBU to be annoyed

NotMyBigFatFault Fri 18-Jan-13 19:29:58

Seafood allergy and fish are two different things - fish is one type of category, fish another (not nitpicking though)

Yes, that was a bit silly of the childminder, it reminds me of that scene in The Royal Family when they ask if Saskia would have some ham (she was a veggie)

Chuckling again over that, carnivores just don't get the meat/fish/lacto/ovo thing do they grin

CloudsAndTrees Fri 18-Jan-13 19:31:40

Vegetarians who don't eat fish are not vegetarians. They make a mockery of any of the good reasons for vegetarianism, unless they just admit that they don't like red meat and poultry.

kilmuir Fri 18-Jan-13 19:35:20

the CM sounds dim if she thought fish was ok for vegetarians. Its a dead fish.
I find it annoying that people say they are a vegetarian BUT eat fish, what??? and I am not even a vegetarian

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 18-Jan-13 19:36:22

Hmm I think the cm has utterly fucked up actually and I wonder wht else your dd might have ate?

I assume that a cm must have a basic food hygiene cert and know about allergys and stuff. Your dd should have a sheet with this sort of info and possible allergy info stated. I would not be impressed if I was you there are rules paperwork and procedures that should have been followed through at all times.

BumpingFuglies Fri 18-Jan-13 19:37:45

Why do people define themselves by what they eat? It's odd all round IMO. I eat meat and all sorts. I am AN EATER. hmm

BumpingFuglies Fri 18-Jan-13 19:40:04

I can't eat mushrooms, they make me ill. Mushcaterian?
I am what I don't eat grin

AnnoyingOrange Fri 18-Jan-13 19:42:41

Surely an Antimuscatarian ?

Shallishanti Fri 18-Jan-13 19:42:49

Remus, if you are a vegetarian, fish = meat- it's the flesh of a dead animal, just one that lives in water
what else could you call it?

Busyoldfool Fri 18-Jan-13 19:48:53

I never call myself anything. Other people label me a vegetarian. It really doesn't matter what someone is called as long as they eat what they want to eat.

And do there have to be good reasons for not eating something?

No - fish is fish. It is the flesh of a dead fish. The word, 'meat' is used to describe the flesh of other animals, but fish are always classed as fish. Yes they are an animal but their flesh is not called meat when it is on sale in the supermarket. It's a matter of semantics.

musicposy Fri 18-Jan-13 19:54:03

Both DDs are vegetarian and find this incredibly annoying. DD2 was a pescatarian for about a year before becoming veggie. The trouble is, whenever she said she was a pescatarian she got a hmm and a confused and had to give a lengthy explanation. I wish the word was more widely known and used and then maybe people would get it more that veggies don't eat fish.

I cannot get through to my parents or even some of my friends that the DDs don't eat fish. I keep on telling them, no they are vegetarian, they don't eat meat, fish, gelatine products, animal based food colourings. People just say "so they're vegan then?" No, they are not vegan!

What other people eat is entirely their choice - I'm a meat eater but support my veggie DDs wholeheartedly. But it makes me cross that people get irritated with the DDs because they won't eat the fish they've planned. It shouldn't be so hard to grasp.

OP YADNBU. I would be very, very upset in your position, and I speak as someone who isn't even veggie.

sooperdooper Fri 18-Jan-13 19:54:19

Surely a fish is a living animal though, which is why if you're vegetarian you shouldn't eat it - people who call themselves vegetarian but eat fish are ridiculous, they should just say they don't eat meat

nokidshere Fri 18-Jan-13 19:55:08

I am a childminder. I would absolutely know what my children are and are not allowed to eat, and yes I would carry the information around with me if I was unsure for any reason.

If someone told me they were vegetarian I would automatically ask if they ate fish and dairy produce because so many people eat so many different things. If someone told me they were Lacto-Ovo vegetarian I would have to ask them to spell it out in clear terms for me as I havae no idea what that means!

ouryve Fri 18-Jan-13 19:55:21

I think it's more ignorance than anything else. Including ignorance of people who insist they are strict vegetarian but eat fish or chicken or whatever.

I was pescetarian for a few years, so requested vegetarian when I ate out to make sure I had no nasty surprises. That probably confuses some people

Shallishanti Fri 18-Jan-13 19:55:30

yes, I know that's the convention but why are animals that breathe air different from those that breathe water? they are still animals. What about animals that have feathers?
a fish is an animal- it's not a plant, a fungus or anything wierd like a virus- it's alive- so - it's an animal
not semantics, science grin

DoItToJulia Fri 18-Jan-13 19:57:00

I had the same with ds preschool. Fish pie was regularly listed as the veggie option. I had to teach my son to say that he eats nothing with a face, despite filling in the dietary requirement form, telling the staff in person and writing in.

It's painful.

I'm not saying it's not an animal. I'm saying that when eaten, its flesh is referred to as fish and not as meat.

I just think that it's important that people take the responsibility themselves to ensure that people understand what they do/don't eat (or what their children do/don't eat.)

I've been veggie for years btw.

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