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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

feministefatale Wed 23-Jan-13 14:29:41

So Cote, vegetarians and vegans should never post on a thread that has nothing to do with vegetarian health and everything to do with fish not being vegetarian because meat eaters might ask them dumb questions that they should feel obligated to answer? confused

DoItToJulia Wed 23-Jan-13 19:02:44

Ha ha feminist....too true!

CoteDAzur Wed 23-Jan-13 21:05:25

Crinkle - You said that fishing with hooks is "one of the cruelest ways to die"(with a hook in the mouth). That is why I asked if you think fishing with nets is any better, because surely the fish dies in both methods because it can't breathe outside water. So, to me, they both look equally "cruel" because they both involve a long and torturous death by asphyxiation.

CoteDAzur Wed 23-Jan-13 21:18:02

Binary - re "when someone is so hostile towards my beliefs then why should I waste my breath? "

I'm not hostile. I'm sceptical. What I know about our bodies, digestive system, and nutritional needs says that we have evolved to eat animal products and that we need animal products in our diet. If you think that is wrong, please explain how and why.

By the way, is veganism really your "belief"? Like a religion? I was hoping that it would be a rational conviction you and others here have arrived at after informed consideration, not a belief.

CoteDAzur Wed 23-Jan-13 21:26:09

fascicle - re "Neither little children nor adults (any size) need dairy. They need calcium, available from dairy and other sources."

Calcium is not the only nutrient in milk.

"Seaside towns? Those are cities, most of them capital cities! "

Exactly. Prosperous cities, most of which have become capital cities, all on the sea or a river? (Again, I am not claiming that eating fish = economic prosperity. Just answering the person who claimed seaside towns are no different than landlocked ones)

"I can't tell if you're making things up for your own entertainment"

I'm not making anything up and this isn't actually entertaining, since you people are flat out refusing to talk about the nutrition aspect of cutting out entire food groups from your diet.

CoteDAzur Wed 23-Jan-13 21:30:39

feminist - You sound like you tried to say something you think is witty there but it doesn't appear to be a reply to anything I have posted.

BinarySolo Wed 23-Jan-13 21:38:06

Cote. As other have said meat is not the only way to get the nutrients that you need. I have a crap memory so would have to refer to books I have about calcium, iron etc in plant form vs meat. It's late and I'm on bed, but frankly I'm not sure if I can be bothered anyway as I doubt any evidence I could provide would alter your point of view.

I used the term belief as in I believe I'm doing right by my son, from my research a vegan diet is a healthy choice. The dietician I saw certainly saw no deficiencies in my diet and she was a medical professional. I assume you must have similar qualifications as you seem to be an authority.

I do have moral beliefs that influence my food choices obviously, but I also consider health.

Sorry but the world isn't as black and white as you think. As I keep saying ANY ill considered diet will lead to dificiencies and animal products are not the magic bullet that you seem to think they are.

CoteDAzur Wed 23-Jan-13 22:28:56

It's not just calcium and iron, though, is it? I talked about fish earlier, for example. There are essential fatty acids you can't get from plant sources afaik, and even those you can find in plants aren't absorbed as well as from animal sources.

If you can't be bothered to talk, that is disappointing. This is my 4th day on this thread and somehow nobody can or wants to talk about the nutrition aspect of cutting out entire food groups from their diet. You were looking like my only hope, but anyway.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 23-Jan-13 22:45:44

AFAIK the only nutrient which is not naturally available in a vegan form is vitamin B12,but is easily available in a (vegan friendly) manufactured form.

In some ways I can see where Cote is coming from. Vegans and veggies choose to exclude a vast range of foods from their diet. If you are not clued up about nutrition you are more likely to accidentally ingest the full range of nutrients if you don't restrict your diet. After all chips are vegan, and if that is all you ate you wouldn't be very healthy.

I also agree with her point that humans have evolved to eat meat, and that we are naturally suited to being omnivores.

However, we live in a highly technologically advanced society, we have chosen to come out our caves and not live a natural life. With the vast knowledge we have available to us it is perfectly possible for an infant to be weaned on, and continue with a vegan diet lifelong, with no ill - effects or deficiencies.

Sadly, there are some vegans and some vegetarians and some omnis who will eat an inadequate diet. This does not mean, however, that a vegan/veggie diet is inherently inadequate.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 23-Jan-13 22:49:24

cote As a lazy vegan I these
http://igennus-hn.com/products/echiomega/
To get my EFAs, but there are plenty of more natural sources also.

BinarySolo Thu 24-Jan-13 06:21:55

Maybe nobody wants to 'discuss' it with you cote, because you are not taking on board any of the positive argument. For example I have twice told you that a dietician couldn't fault my diet or that of my son when I was specifically asking her about deficiencies.

You also have a habit of nit picking my post to try and prove your point further. For example above I said 'calcium, iron etc' meaning a whole range of vitamins minerals and other nutrients and your response was 'it's not just calcium and iron tho'. I know. Hence etc.

You also seem unwilling to acknowledge that I and others have pointed out that meat and dairy don't automatically equal healthy. I could be a meat eater but eat only cheese burgers and junk.

TheArbiter Thu 24-Jan-13 06:59:43

Ovo-lacto-vegetarian?

If the confusion over vegetarianism and fish has allowed ludicrous abominations like the above word to become commonplace, then I think people who eat fish and claim to be 'vegetarian' deserve all the opprobrium they get.

BinarySolo Thu 24-Jan-13 07:35:35

'You were looking like my only hope'

Can't tell if that's sarcasm or an attempt to draw me into further arguments with you. Either way it seems you have little interest in the subject other than pushing your own agenda. If you are genuinely interested then I recommend the book Plant Based Nutrition and Health researched and written by Stephen Walsh PhD, Science Coordinator of the International Vegetarian Union.

herladyship Thu 24-Jan-13 08:10:54

I find it suprising Cote that you are so concerned about the diets of vegan/veggie children.

My dd is 12, and has refused to eat meat or fish since the age of 3. How would you have handled this if it was one of your dc?

Should I have attempted force feeding? I chose to do some research & ensure that I could provide her with a balanced diet. Vegan & vegetarian society websites are a good place to start if you are genuinely interested.

I used to get annoyed about people's comments on her diet, now I just stifle a laugh as they drivel on about malnutrition whilst shovelling their DC full of chicken nuggets, cheap sausages & plastic ham grin

herladyship Thu 24-Jan-13 08:10:55

I find it suprising Cote that you are so concerned about the diets of vegan/veggie children.

My dd is 12, and has refused to eat meat or fish since the age of 3. How would you have handled this if it was one of your dc?

Should I have attempted force feeding? I chose to do some research & ensure that I could provide her with a balanced diet. Vegan & vegetarian society websites are a good place to start if you are genuinely interested.

I used to get annoyed about people's comments on her diet, now I just stifle a laugh as they drivel on about malnutrition whilst shovelling their DC full of chicken nuggets, cheap sausages & plastic ham grin

fascicle Thu 24-Jan-13 09:00:39

CoteDAzur
Little children do. Except if vegans plan to breastfeed their children until they are 10 or so (which I don't see at all in the vegan families around me).

I asked before, and will ask again - please explain the above claim about dairy/vegans needing to breastfeed 10 year old children.

Calcium is not the only nutrient in milk.

Agreed. So what additional nutrients are you referring to in milk, that cannot be obtained on a vegan diet?

...you people are flat out refusing to talk about the nutrition aspect of cutting out entire food groups from your diet.

To which entire food groups are you referring? Vegans omit only one 'food group' - dairy - which is the only non essential foodgroup (i.e. nutrients can be obtained elsewhere).

feministefatale Thu 24-Jan-13 13:30:21

No I responded exactly to your last post. I already told you before I am not going to be your encyclopedia. Maybe it's time for to stop "trying" to be clever

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