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.

Remus- yeah, I really didn't want to rant at the childminder, so thought it would be better to offload elsewhere! grin

I agree about labels, too- it's just that, for convenience and the avoidance of great long pointless discussions about food choices (yawn) it's just easier to say 'vegetarian' - especially when I'm discussing the care of my daughter, as she can't actually speak for herself. She's only 18 months old.

I did actually write down specifics on the form (for those that have asked). I also remember discussing it with the childminder at the time.

Re: seafood/fish- my sister is seriously allergic to both/either. She was even worse as a child, so this could have meant blue lights to A&E. I will take from this the need to point this out now (in BIG WRITING!!!) on forms in future, even though she shouldn't be given it anyway.

And what's worse- apparently she loved them... the little bugger. <boak>

PS Spot on, Shallishanti smile

I tried bringing up my two as veggie - and then they discovered tandoori chicken! I always said that as soon as they were old enough to ask/show an interest I'd leave it up to them. I will never forget the sight of them aged around 5 and 3 greedily passing a bone to each other and sucking every morsel off it! smile

CecyHall Fri 18-Jan-13 20:11:11

I get annoyed by people who eat fish who say they are vegetarian. They're not. I get annoyed by people who say they are vegetarian but eat marshmallows, haribo and Worcester sauce.

I don't care way they eat, but like others have said, it confuses some people who then serve up animals to vegetarians ( I'm vegan, lots of people 'forget' that they've roasted potatoes in goose fat or brushed the veggie pie top with egg, it's important to me but clearly not to them).

OP - yanbu - and I can understand being cross with the childminder - I am a veggie and so is dh we have both been ovo-lacto veggies for over 20 years and so our children are as well. There is no history of allergies in our family though so I do not have concerns if meat or fish accidently get fed to dc (I obviously do not desire it though).

Dd1 had a tuna sandwich at a party once (it tasted like 'dirty water' apparently) and that did not trouble me, as I had to accept that when out of my hands the dc may well sample meat/ fish. I could stress about it or relax and make sure the children understood that meat and fish is not part of our diet, but other people do eat it and that is their choice. When the children buy and cook their own food in their own kitchen it will be up to them to choose.

Describing youirself as veggie and eating fish and/ or chicken is insania - don't bother labelling yourself just say 'I don't eat red meat' or whatever - if it is even questioned. As for describing yourself as veggie for convenience when eating out? I do not get that either - just look at the menu and ask questions if you want to know what is in a dish, being considered 'fussy' for questioning menu's is something I have become hardened to over the years. There are worse things happening at sea etc. smile

Once you have successfully ordered a meal in France and uttered the reviled phrase "Je suis Vegetarien" nothing a waiter can say with questioning eyebrows/ supercilious expression can bother you!

feministefatale Fri 18-Jan-13 20:16:20

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.

Even if it were just semantics, then surely you wouldn't additionally have to spell out that you don't eat meat or fish. Because if you don't eat meat, you have no reason to eat fish.

MarianneM Fri 18-Jan-13 20:29:42

Funny, I seem to be the only one who found the OP rather precious and a bit silly for getting upset over her child being given fish fingers.

Some of the tone of the OP jumped out:

people who are 'strict vegetarians' apart from the fact that they eat fish - come on Mumsnet, where is your party line "what's it got to do with you?"

Personally, I don't especially lose any sleep over what other people eat or don't eat. - I should imagine not!

who I trust absolutely with my child's care - you really should rethink that now that she has given your child a fish finger!

my daughter now been given meat when I really wanted to avoid that happening for as long as possible - you'd think the OP was talking about the facts of life or something!

And the two mentions of allergies in the family when your child doesn't seem to have been diagnosed with any spells out your attitude!

When did we all become so prissy and particular about food?

It also interests me why the children of vegetarians always seem to be expected to be vegetarian also.

BTW I am a fish-and-veg eater, no meat. My children eat meat though, as long as it's free-range.

littleducks Fri 18-Jan-13 20:40:15

Don't write ovo-lacto vegetarian in future. Stick to
'Vegetarian-No MEAT, No FISH, No GELATINE, No COCHINEAL'

If nothing else it makes people remember (because they think you are nutyy wink) and check.

I think it doesn't help that the veggie option in places like McDonalds is fish finger, though if you ask nicely they will do you a happy meal with a cheese burger, no meat extra salad.

herladyship Fri 18-Jan-13 20:43:03

Q) Why are the children of vegetarians expected to be vegetarians??

A) for the same reasons that meat eaters children are expected to eat meat (& the children of Christians are expected to be Christian, etc etc)

LOTS of values & habits are influenced by parents!!

FWIW, I'm a meat eater with a veggie DD (age 12). She declared she was not eating "killed animals" when aged 3 & has never looked back smile

"Even if it were just semantics, then surely you wouldn't additionally have to spell out that you don't eat meat or fish. Because if you don't eat meat, you have no reason to eat fish."

I disagree. Lots of people choose to eat fish but not meat. Lots of people still think that fish isn't meat (that's why fasting days often became fish days, because fish was perceived to be okay on days when meat was not - it's why lots of people still see Fridays as fish and chip days) and lots of people don't follow 'rules' but choose to eat some things and not others. Which is why somebody who might not understand the term 'ovo-lacto vegetarian' might well need it spelling out to them.

When did we become prissy? There have been vegetarians for centuries, meat is not essential to our diets, there is often a religious, cultural or ethical basis for a vegetarian diet There are millions of vegetarians around the world .... hmm

In my case raising my children as vegetarian is the only sane choice when both parents have vegetarian since they were children. I would not know and don't need to know how to cook meat.

Being veggie is nothing new or faddy, though I heard the same lines being trotted out nearly 25 years ago when I became vegetariangrin (along with how 'pale' I looked, nowt to do with the fact I am red haired and freckly and that of course! Twats! sorryblush )

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 18-Jan-13 20:55:01

'vegetarians' who eat fish are better known as 'fussy eaters'.

Beamur Fri 18-Jan-13 20:55:42

We're an omnivorous family with a small child who since she could speak has refused to eat meat...our influences have not rubbed off! Our DD was about the age of yours herladyship
She would prefer not to eat fish as she hates the idea of eating animals (although she likes the way it tastes) so I describe her as 'not eating meat, but she will eat fish'. If she chooses not to eat fish when she is older that's her choice.
You're always going to have to explain what you do and don't eat because people make lots of different choices about what they eat for different reasons and don't fit into neat categories.

buzzybuzzybeeshoes Fri 18-Jan-13 21:03:51

I'd be fuming and really upset, and would find it hard to trust the CM in the same way.

MarianneM - the dad of a Muslim friend of my daughter's was really upset when she was given sausages at nursery. Was he being precious too?

This is really important to some people and emotionally loaded in the same way as smacking, CC and other big decisions you make as a parent are to other people.

MarianneM Fri 18-Jan-13 21:05:35

When did we become prissy? There have been vegetarians for centuries, meat is not essential to our diets, there is often a religious, cultural or ethical basis for a vegetarian diet There are millions of vegetarians around the world ....

I didn't say being a vegetarian was prissy smile

The OP had a prissy attitude.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 18-Jan-13 21:08:02

The classic definition of vegetarian is 'no flesh, fish or fowl'. Simple!

FarrahFawcettsFlick Fri 18-Jan-13 21:11:10

NotMyBigFatFault

"give her some wafer thin ham Barb" heh heh :-)

m - thanks for clarifying your point but in your post - it was not clear as you said when did we all get prissy about food so seemed to be aimed generally at dietary restrictions not so much at the op alone.smile

buzzybuzzybeeshoes Fri 18-Jan-13 21:13:20

I do think this can be a difficult one for meat and fish eaters to understand though. I'd genuinely rather eat phlegm than the rarest and most delicious steak in the world grin. So although logically the OP knows that her daughter's not going to come to any harm from eating fish fingers it' s hard to shake that visceral reaction iyswim?

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Fri 18-Jan-13 21:16:34

I was reading a blog recently.
It was a mothering type thing.

Anyhow, the author was making an issue of how difficult she was finding it making her vegetarian family's requirements heard at family gatherings etc.
She then posted suitable recipes which included tuna pasta bake.

I stopped reading after that.

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Fri 18-Jan-13 21:19:11

Sorry, my point was some people, even 'vegetarians' don't know what they are so it's hard unless you REALLY spell it out.

AmIthatWintry Fri 18-Jan-13 21:27:17

FFs Anyone who eats fish isnn't a vegetarian

Anyone who gives a vegetarian fish is an idiot.

prissy attitude my arse

AmIthatWintry Fri 18-Jan-13 21:27:41

FFs Anyone who eats fish isn't a vegetarian

Anyone who gives a vegetarian fish is an idiot.

prissy attitude my arse

AmIthatWintry Fri 18-Jan-13 21:28:21

....and I'm an arse for double posting grin

feministefatale Fri 18-Jan-13 21:37:21

Somethings need to be repeated amithat wink

birdofthenorth Fri 18-Jan-13 21:37:25

I was a vegetarian for 15 years but have been eating fish for five years. I never describe myself as vegetarian anymore but I do struggle with the alternative, rather than say "I do not eat meat, poultry or animal fats" I find it easier to say "I'm sort of a vegetarian although I do eat fish." I will often tick a vegetarian box if pre-ording menus etc but that's because I'd prefer to eat the veggie food (& that shouldn't lead to misconceptions as nobody need know I eat fish).

Fish is clearly not an a vegetarian option, no matter how many people are "pescatarians" like myself (not a term I use, tried it and no-one understands, they either have no clue or think it means I only eat fish!).

I think I must have PMT.

This thread is:

a) making me angry about certain vegetarians who seem to think that they have some sort of moral highground/guaranteed place in Nirvana through the act of being vegetarian

b) making me fancy fish and chips

c) making me feel like pretending I'm not a vegetarian, so that I can't come across as instantly precious/prissy.

I agree - I think some people on here DO sound a bit prissy tbh. Let's face it, if we were starving we'd probably all welcome a fish finger.

fluffypillow Fri 18-Jan-13 21:54:00

I just tell people who ask..... I don't eat 'food with a face!'. It's that simple grin

If it ever had a face, then it's not for my dinner.

Remus - I think you may- have some Green & Black's on me. For what it's worth, most folk I know probably don't know I'm veggie- I have been for nearly 30 years, I don't really labour it in normal circs- but I do have a preference for how my daughter is raised around the issue until she's old enough to understand. You know- like most moral/health issues we have to make decisions about on our children's behalf in those first few years.

My main reason, actually, in raising this hoary old issue, was just to remind people that there is a wider impact in perpetuating the 'fish is a vegetable' idea. And, for the love of all that is sacred- I did, originally, describe what I meant by vegetarian when discussing with the childminder. And I'm actually not that pissed at her (as I said, she's lovely, and she was just being kind): it's just that I wish we could avoid the confusion.

Wintry - thank you. Prissy? Jaysus.

Thank you. Is it the almond one? smile

You have been v rational on this thread btw - am impressed!

crochetcircle Fri 18-Jan-13 22:17:03

I don't eat anything with legs.

Shrimps, prawns, cows, sheep, octopi, mussels, snails, frogs, chicken etc.

There isn't a word for my food preferences (other than Blood Fussy Eater!)

Fish-eating-vegetarian-who-doesn't-eat-seafood just about covers it...

juniper904 Fri 18-Jan-13 22:35:13

BinarySolo the issue with no food with a face is that I can't eat clocks or dice. And that really limits my mathematical food intake.

Technically all 3D shapes have faces grin

I agree regarding fish. My work provide sandwiches if we're having a late night, and the vegetarian platter consists of prawn and mayonnaise, tuna and maybe an egg sandwich or two. It has raised a few vegetarian eyebrows (but, as we are so malnourished due to lack of protein, our eyebrows don't move much)

DoJo Sat 19-Jan-13 00:26:31

I have a strange sense of deja vu...

LynetteScavo Sat 19-Jan-13 00:33:15

Now, you see, I don't think prawns really have a face...

But anyway, maybe I missed it earlier in the thread, but isn't there a word for people who eat fish but not meat, other than "fish veggie"?

OP, YANBU top be annoyed with your CM.

LynetteScavo Sat 19-Jan-13 00:34:15

DoJo, me too, but I only get deja vu with the fist half of the OP.

PandaWatch Sat 19-Jan-13 00:44:57

A "vegetarian" who eats eggs and dairy is in no position to pour scorn on the ethical intentions of someone who eats fish but no other meat. What do you think happens to every male chick born for every female chick that is bred to be an egg laying hen? What about all the calves that are born to dairy cattle?

SpecialAgentKat Sat 19-Jan-13 01:03:25

Agree with some posters being prissy and especially agree with PandaWatch.

orchidee Sat 19-Jan-13 01:31:26

Wiki has some info on vegetarianism, interestingly it does say there's no strict agreement. It doesn't mention competitive vegetarianism smile

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from consumption of meat – red meat, poultry and seafood. It may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter, such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin.[2][3]
Vegetarianism can be adopted for several reasons. Many object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, along with the concept of animal rights. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic or economic. There are varieties of the diet as well: an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs, and an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products. A vegan, or strict vegetarian, diet excludes all animal products, including eggs, dairy, and honey.
Various packaged or processed foods, including cake, cookies, chocolate and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, and may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additions.[4] Often, products are reviewed by vegetarians for animal-derived ingredients prior to purchase or consumption.[4] Vegetarians vary in their feelings regarding these ingredients, however. For example, while some vegetarians may be unaware of animal-derived rennet's role in the usual production of cheese and may therefore unknowingly consume the product,[5][6] other vegetarians may not be bothered by its consumption.[3] The results of a 2009 International survey suggest the standard definition of vegetarianism is different in different nations. Vegetarians in some nations consume more animal products than those in others.[7]
Semi-vegetarian diets consist largely of vegetarian foods, but may include fish or poultry, or sometimes other meats on an infrequent basis. Those with diets containing fish or poultry may define "meat" only as mammalian flesh and may identify with vegetarianism.[8][9] A pescetarian diet has been described as "fish but no other meat".[10] The common use association between such diets and vegetarianism has led vegetarian groups such as the Vegetarian Society to state that diets containing these ingredients are not vegetarian, due to fish and birds being animals.[11]

orchidee Sat 19-Jan-13 01:37:46

The point being- the CM should have realised fish was a no-no but the label "vegetarian" isn't clear and simple.

80sMum Sat 19-Jan-13 01:58:37

" I don't eat anything with legs. Shrimps, prawns, cows, sheep, octopi, mussels, snails, frogs, chicken etc."

So, show me where the legs are on mussels and snails!

TinyDancingHoofer Sat 19-Jan-13 02:26:24

Vegetarians don't eat fish.

BinarySolo Sat 19-Jan-13 08:27:24

I blame 'Come Dine With Me'. Every vegetarian on that eats fish - one of them even had steak!! Then the odd episode wheels out a vegan to be ridiculed. It's about time there was an all veggie episode to level the playing field, as a lot of meat eaters don't think it's really a meal if there's no meat (my dad is one of those people)

BinarySolo Sat 19-Jan-13 08:29:34

juniper grin

theodorakisses Sat 19-Jan-13 08:49:01

Is it last week again? Hasn't this been done to death last week? i see there is another crisp thread as well.

WeAreEternal Sat 19-Jan-13 08:51:21

Vegetarians who eat fish are not vegetarian, they are pescetarian and should all really stop telling everyone that they are 'vegetarians who eat fish' because vegetarians don't eat fucking fish

I really wish everyone would learn the bloody difference.

And vegetarians who eat chicken arent vegetarian, they are liars.

I had a friend at uni that was a vegetarian that only ate processes meat, "because it's mostly not meat anyway" she made me very stabby.

CoteDAzur Sat 19-Jan-13 08:57:39

YANBU to be annoyed at people corrupting your understanding of vegetarianism.

YABU to prevent your children from eating fish & meat - both are very important for their development.

Moominsarehippos Sat 19-Jan-13 09:11:52

Yawn... Wasn't this done last week?

Vegetarians who eat fish, chicken or steak and lying toads who make it harder for people who are vegetarians to get a meal out without dead animal in it.

My sister doesn't eat red meat because it doesn't aagree with her. She has never said that she's veggie, because she isn't.

I find that non veggies who say they are, tend to be the ones who make a huuuuge fuss in a restaurant about their diet, then choose the chicken or fish.

CoteDAzur Sat 19-Jan-13 09:26:49

Ffs are you a namechanged Moldie? hmm

This sort of thread policing a la "We talked about this recently so you're not allowed to" thankfully disappeared with them.

If you don't like the subject clearly spelled out in the thread title, don't click on it. Don't read it. And don't post on it.

missmartha Sat 19-Jan-13 09:31:50

Kathy Burke was on tv explaining that she's been veggie since her late teens.

This was on `Hugh Fernly whatsit's program.

Dilemma, what to cook for this vegetarian?

Well in the end Kathy and Hugh took to a boat and caught and cooked a delicious sea bass or some such

Vegetarian my arse.

DoItToJulia Sat 19-Jan-13 09:44:49

Fish and meat are important for children's development hmm?

CoteDAzur Sat 19-Jan-13 09:45:43

Never too late to learn these things, Julia.

missmartha Sat 19-Jan-13 09:48:24

A well balanced diet is important for a child's development. Flesh doesn't have to be a part of that diet.

DoItToJulia Sat 19-Jan-13 09:48:30

Ha ha ha! I love a good joke!

DoItToJulia Sat 19-Jan-13 09:49:58

Got any more Cote?

theodorakisses Sat 19-Jan-13 09:50:22

It's just that the last week one was so unutterably tedious and went on for about a billion years.

theodorakisses Sat 19-Jan-13 09:51:16

And I strongly object to suggesting anyone who points this out is a troll.

Flojobunny Sat 19-Jan-13 09:52:35

Your childminder is clearly incredibly stupid. In which case, I be less worried about the fish fingers and more worried about leaving a child in her care.

CoteDAzur Sat 19-Jan-13 09:53:28

Not troll. Moldie. Search MN if you don't know what that refers to.

If a subject annoys you, hide the thread.

theodorakisses Sat 19-Jan-13 09:55:51

Thanks for the lesson, what a sillybilly I am biscuit

CoteDAzur Sat 19-Jan-13 09:57:11

I can't see how a child can have a "well-balanced diet" if you are going to completely omit meat and fish from his diet. Or even all animal products like milk and eggs, as with the diets I know two friends inflict on their poor children sad

DoItToJulia Sat 19-Jan-13 10:00:43

Hmmm, time for a biscuit for cote!

CoteDAzur Sat 19-Jan-13 10:05:07

We are most uncomfortable with people who don't share our belief system, are we?

bigbadbarry Sat 19-Jan-13 10:08:15

missmartha what a shame! Hugh Fearnley-wotsit has some lovely vegetarian recipes sad

theodorakisses Sat 19-Jan-13 10:14:46

I think it is very wrong to deliberately give a vegetarian child fish to prove a point and woefully ignorant to give it accidently. The parents have every right to bring their child up however they want (some people even allow crisps).
Just thinking about my husband's school where 60% of the kids are Hindu vegetarians, they all eat fish!
It is a ridiculous argument though because obviously people who eat fish are not vegetarians therefore they are wrong and unreasonable and there is no need to debate it.

DoItToJulia Sat 19-Jan-13 10:24:28

No, just people who belittle others beliefs.

CoteDAzur Sat 19-Jan-13 10:33:08

And who might those be?

Has anyone said that you are a fool to believe in God?

DoItToJulia Sat 19-Jan-13 10:34:30

Backing out of thread, as it is getting very weird!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 19-Jan-13 10:56:14

Cote - children and adults can have a very healthy vegan diet - we do not need to eat meat or fish or dairy.

OP - definitely a good example of how much damage the fuckwits are doing who say they are vegetarian and eat fish. They are not vegetarian and should stick to saying 'I don't eat meat'

hackmum Sat 19-Jan-13 11:13:37

This is one of the things that annoys me too, OP. I hate it when I say to people (if e.g. finding a restaurant to eat) "I'm vegetarian" and they say "Do you eat fish?" I always want to say "No, I fucking well do not, I'm a vegetarian." I never do, but honestly! And the misconception comes partly because there are so many annoying people out there who describe themselves as vegetarian when actually they eat fish.

Also, I'm always flummoxed by the question "Are you a strict vegetarian?" because I never know what it means. Sometimes it means "Do you abstain from eating all meat and fish?" (Yes, duh - that's what being a vegetarian means.) Sometimes it means, "Do you abstain from eggs and dairy?" (No, that's vegan) or sometimes it means - more reasonably - "Are you strict about not eating cheese with animal rennet or sweets with gelatine?"

GinOnTwoWheels Sat 19-Jan-13 11:30:35

OP YANBU.

A question for those who eat fish but not meat, what is the logic behind this decision?

From watching the HFW Fish progs it seems clear that fish production/farming and trawler catching especially causes way more suffering to the fish than good qualuty free range farming

countrykitten Sat 19-Jan-13 11:43:27

Cote you are very patronising and also wrong - but don't let that hold you back.

Fish eating 'vegetarians' are irritating as they do muddy the waters for those people who are vegetarians. Meat eaters get understandably very confused and cook fish for veggies at dinner parties and it's not really their fault - it's fake veggies causing the issue.

Also people who happily eat crap like Haribo or other processed rubbish with animal derivatives irritate me but not as much. People do not check food labels enough in general and it is easy to be caught out by big business manufacturers and their complex ingredients lists.

Panda makes some very good points re egg and milk production and it is for these reasons that I am a vegan. But I would not want to make vegetarians feel bad/guilty over this as the more veggies there are in the world, the better a place it is as far as I am concerned.

countrykitten Sat 19-Jan-13 11:45:02

And OP I would be very annoyed by what happened. As another poster pointed out, would you be seen as being 'prissy' if you were a Muslim and this was a (disgusting) pork sausage? Thought not - double standards rule it seems.

countrykitten Sat 19-Jan-13 11:46:15

Gin my assumption about people who eat fish and not meat is that their reasons for not eating meat are not founded in any way in any concern for animals at all. It can be the only explanation.

orchidee Sat 19-Jan-13 11:50:38

A question for those who eat fish but not meat, what is the logic behind this decision?

This question highlights the fundamental issue. People limit their diets for all sorts of reasons. Animal welfare issues, religion, culture, never tried it before, I don't like to eat xxx... The Tesco horse meat incident is the same, no? Why eat one animal and not another? It's just personal choice. If vegans and true anything-goes types (insects, birds, fish, mammals...) are in the minority then surely most of us fit into the category of eating some living things but not others.

Also, I've known vegetarians who don't like vegetables. smile

BumbleBee2011 Sat 19-Jan-13 11:53:08

Gin - I totally agree. My sister is a so-called veg who eats fish, but hasn't thought anything through really and is actually really dim when it comes to the subject (when she visited MIL made her a veggie option while we had Sunday lunch, DSis then proceeded to pour beef gravy over itconfused)

She says she won't eat meat due to farming/environmental practices...well what about the seas being over-fished, and intensively reared seafood? When I mentioned free range meat she had no idea what it was and seemed to tie herself up in knots.

Basically it's an image she wants to associate with (her boyfriend is a "health nut" who eats nothing but crisps) and she hasn't got a clue - but makes everyone have to cater to her.

Really bugs me though as I have loads of genuine vegetarian friends, my MIL would probably serve them gravy now!

photographerlady Sat 19-Jan-13 13:48:41

It's a UK thing my in laws served me fish before thinking it was vegetarian. It's a honest mistake but a great opportunity to exain to her your diet better.

DrCoconut Sat 19-Jan-13 15:24:39

I don't eat red meat or poultry because I don't like the taste or texture. People assume I must be vegetarian because of this. I have to admit that if it stops them giving me chicken it can be easier not to argue but agree that fish is not a vegetarian option.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sat 19-Jan-13 16:12:08

YANBU and yes this has been brought up before

I went several days without tea when staying away from home on a school trip, as guess what despite filling in the dietary requirements forms as vegetarian both the teachers and the hotel staff though vegetarians eat fish confused

I was expected to eat around said fish when I asked for a different meal (couldn't as the sauce also contained fish and it covered everything) and despite finding out that I didn't eat fish all the evening meals were fish...

MadHairDay Sat 19-Jan-13 16:56:36

I said this on the other thread but might as well here to agree with OP

I've had this several times in hospital ( have to be in fairly often). Was in before Christmas and v v ill, was malnourished and doc said to eat well. When I started to eat I told them I was veggie. The first night I was offered tuna pasta bake, the second night was fish pie. I did complain and was looked at like I was from another planet - 'all the vegetarians we get eat fish' - I was told that the kitchens always offered a veggie option but the servers always gave it to those who couldn't manage lumps because it was disgusting mush soft ie macaroni cheese etc. Never mind the vegetarians, they'll eat fish hmm

So yes, it's damaging when people say they are vegetarian and eat fish. I'm not precious but would quite like to just get on with my food choices without a whole load of hassle.

loofet Sun 20-Jan-13 00:19:59

Can't people educate themselves on vegetarianism? I really can't stand the ignorance.. Its hardly like its some big mysterious thing, there are millions of us in this country alone!! I always get the fish question, and the one I hate the most is 'What do you eat?' like without meat the world would end hmm

But yes. The fish thing does get my goat. I can see its easier if you are a pescetarian to just say you're vege because not many people know what a pesce is. Personally i'd just say 'I don't eat meat, just fish'.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sun 20-Jan-13 13:19:16

The thing is they don't need to educate themselves on what a vegetarian is as it's basic common sense!

A vegetarian is the human equivalent of a herbivore (you should know what a herbivore, omnivore and carnivore are before leaving school) - as long as they know what a herbivore is then all should be fine, in theory, but you still get idiot teenagers who think it's funny to feed a horse a tuna sandwich...

CoteDAzur Sun 20-Jan-13 13:24:48

Chipping - Please say how children can have a very healthy diet without any animal products - no milk, eggs, meat, fish, etc. I would like to hear this.

A vegan friend has been TTC for several years. We all think that her diet might be the problem but just can't tell her sad Despite being very much into eating bio & healthy, she is clearly malnourished very thin and pale. She recently had herself tested for deficiencies and was surprised (how?!) to see that she is severely deficient in quite a few substances, especially iron.

Her super duper all-bio "healthy" diet clearly can't compensate for all the animal products she has cut out. It's particularly worrying for her little DS sad If there are any magic tricks to provide people, especially children, with essential nutrients in the absence of animal products, I'd love to hear about them.

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 20-Jan-13 13:29:27

As long as you use some sort of animal product, like dairy, eggs, wear leather, use drugs tested on animals etc. etc., I don't see how you can moan about a bit of fish.
I couldn't be a vegetarian, if I went down that route I'd have to go the whole way and be vegan, otherwise it's pointless, as animals are still being used and abused with a normal vegetarian diet.

twentythirteen Sun 20-Jan-13 13:34:02

This really bugs me as well, and I eat meat! My partner is a vegetarian and I am always asked to clarify his diet. I used to have a colleague who always spoke about being a vegetarian would woiuld happily serve, cook, and EAT chicken when we came over for a meal.

The other misconception that bugs me about this though is "if, you're vegentarian, it's such a healthy diet". Not if you load up on sweets like my OH, or one frined I had who mostly ate bread and cheese. She was reasonably thin but pale as any ghost I've never seen!

lottiegarbanzo Sun 20-Jan-13 13:46:24

Cote, none of needs to explain this to you, if you want to learn, do a bit of research yourself. You claim to be 'challenging beliefs' but the only thing you've displayed on this thread is your ignorance. It's encouraging that you are now expressing an interest in learning.

So, let's see, there's a wealth of writing on vegetarian nutrition, for adults and children, health care professionals are perfectly happy with babies and children being brought up vegetarian, rightly regarding this as normal and the considerable Hindu and Buddhist populations of the world, a large proportion of whom are vegetarian, have been conceiving and bringing up children for generations. Oh, but, stop press - there's an anonymous woman on an internet thread who claims that children need fish and meat, offering no evidence at all... Who to believe?

Your friend should work with HCPs to address her individual needs. If you really want to read about vegan nutrition more generally, do so.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 13:47:00

Cote As you are able to access MN, I assume you can access google? Try educating yourself. Your friend maybe lacking in her diet, but she isn't the only vegan on the planet and in case it's escaped your notice, so are many meat eaters and many meat eaters also struggle to conceive.

There are NO magic tricks to provide children with essential nutrients in the absence of animal products - it's just a basic vegan diet. Do some research.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 13:49:01

LadyBeagleEyes - you'd be happy to eat cat then?

gotthemoononastick Sun 20-Jan-13 13:59:49

wow!!!people are really chippy on here! red meat=iron=brainfood for small children,but hey I am old and learnt the granny to mother to daughter way!google schmoogle!!

CecyHall Sun 20-Jan-13 14:01:46

Cote perhaps my anecdote will cancel out yours if anecdotes are all you seem to be basing your 'facts' on?

My second pregnancy was a vegan one- I felt amazing all the way through, went into labour on my due date, had a great labour and ds2 was a 9lber. I then successfully breast fed him for nearly a year and he is thriving. He put on weight to follow his centile lines to the letter (or number) and is a bonny, rosy cheeked boy.

The health professionals had no concerns for either of us as I educated myself and had support in my choices.

My first pregnancy was dreadful.

Now I'll never fully know what the causes of the differences in my boys are but no one who knows by youngest could say he was lacking in anything.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sun 20-Jan-13 14:21:51

"I couldn't be a vegetarian, if I went down that route I'd have to go the whole way and be vegan, otherwise it's pointless, as animals are still being used and abused with a normal vegetarian diet."

You're assuming that people are only vegetarians due to ethical or moral reasons

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sun 20-Jan-13 14:26:12

Dark green veg such as cabbage, spinach, broccoli ect are also full of iron... You just have to be aware of what you eat and what you gain from eating it smile

x2boys Sun 20-Jan-13 15:20:28

i have never really understood this [ i,m not a vegetarian btw]but if you are vegetarian on grounds of principle then how can eating fish be ok?.

CoteDAzur Sun 20-Jan-13 18:51:55

lottie - re "You claim to be 'challenging beliefs'"

I have made no such claim. I haven't used the word "challenge" on this thread at all, so I don't know who you are quoting there.

"if you want to learn, do a bit of research yourself. "

You may not have noticed this in the 6 months you have spent on MN, but "Go find out about it yourself" as the answer to a relevant question on a thread is not really done around here. This is a public forum. People are hear to talk. Hard as that may be for some, that sometimes involves answering the questions of the curious.

"there's an anonymous woman on an internet thread who claims that children need fish and meat, offering no evidence at all"

Funny how you demand evidence from me, but don't seem to think you or anyone else has to answer me at all hmm I'd be happy to point you towards the research that shows eating fish is important for brain development, for example, if you are interested.

CoteDAzur Sun 20-Jan-13 19:02:40

CecyHall - "my anecdote will cancel out yours if anecdotes are all you seem to be basing your 'facts' on?"

It won't because I wasn't.

"My second pregnancy was a vegan one- I felt amazing all the way through, went into labour on my due date, had a great labour and ds2 was a 9lber. I then successfully breast fed him for nearly a year and he is thriving."

I'm happy for you. And since you seem to think a vegan pregnancy was such a great thing, I'm guessing that you are not aware of this study that says "Mothers Who Eat Fish While Pregnant Produce Offspring With Better Cognitive Development" and this one that says "Children whose mothers ate no seafood were 48 percent more likely to have a low verbal IQ score, compared to children whose mothers ate high amounts of seafood".

I'm not trying to tell you what to eat. Just don't say that there are no consequences to severely restricting your diet.

CoteDAzur Sun 20-Jan-13 19:07:27

"There are NO magic tricks to provide children with essential nutrients in the absence of animal products"

That's what I thought.

LynetteScavo Sun 20-Jan-13 19:46:40

Yes, but I'm aware of all the fish during pregnancy studies.

I ate ample fish oil supplements, as well as eating lots of fish (I love fish - had a severe craving for roll-mops when pg with DS1 -sadly it was McD's fish burgers when pg with DD hmm).

When Ds1 turned out bright as a button, I was smug. When DD turned out as random as me, I was confused)There is only so much fish consumption and breast feeding can do, it seems.

matilda101 Sun 20-Jan-13 19:50:54

In my opinion a vegetarian eating fish isn't as bad as one that drinks milk. The dairy industry is one of the cruelest 'meat' industries. I mean, to have any milk a cow has to have a calf (no different from humans!), to ensure that there's enough milk to sell the calf has to be taken away from its mother when it's only a day or two old and is then kept in a small pen and fed formula. When it's 6 weeks old it then gets shipped off to France as veal.

I'm a farmers daughter and I love my steaks and milk etc but vegetarians need to think before they speak if they drink milk!!!

matilda101 Sun 20-Jan-13 19:53:21

P.S I have nothing against vegans as at least they truely do what they believe!

fascicle Sun 20-Jan-13 23:18:58

matilda, how can you judge vegetarians who drink milk (and judge them as being worse than a 'vegetarian' who eats fish), when you yourself recognise the cruelty of the dairy industry, but choose to drink milk?

On the fish front, it does muddy the waters when food is called vegetarian but contains fish, or when people call themselves vegetarian but eat fish.

Well. A lot of interesting things have been posted since I last looked!

I would like to thank everyone, as actually it has given me a few things to think about. FWIW, I have, til now, been buying 'ethical' free range milk and eggs. matilda, as far as I am aware, male calves from organic dairies go to the organic meat industry rather than to factory produced beef or veal. Funnily enough, my uncle was a dairy cow breeder/small scale dairy farmer, and I helped out on his farm when I was young. (As his cattle were sought after, as far as I am aware his male calves were always sold as stud.) Used to make up the formula and feed them. His care for his stock was second to none- but he was very old fashioned: sadly, since the abolition of the Milk Marketing Board it has become much more big scale, and farms in the Western world seem to be following the American model.

I now plan to do some more research, educate myself more and do some more thinking, as actually perhaps I should make sure that I am not turning a blind eye and fooling myself. I'm not perfect and don't claim to be- pretty much I reckon you do what you can do, as it is at least something.

One thing though: if we did eradicate dairy and the meat industry- what would happen to all of the species of animals which have been bred over the millennia to serve our demands (in theory)? What would the ethical replacement for it be? Presumably fewer would be bred, of course, but what would we do with the relics? Sorry if I'm being thick, am v. v. tired and had a glass of wine or two!

PS Cote: seriously, there are millions of people globally who do not eat animal meat. Some of the healthiest children I've seen in my life have been vegan. What do you think inland populations did before refrigeration? Surely if fish made you that much brighter than everyone else, then fish-eating populations would have subjugated everyone else (human nature being what it is)?

hopkinette Sun 20-Jan-13 23:39:22

I served someone the other day who said "I'm vegan, but I eat fish." What an absolute CUNT.

feministefatale Mon 21-Jan-13 02:57:53

Cote, vegetarians get awfully bored constantly having to justify and explain themselves to people who are two lazy to do any research before they voice ridiculous statements about their life style and children.

CoteDAzur Mon 21-Jan-13 22:30:27

"Some of the healthiest children I've seen in my life have been vegan."

What kind of tests did you do on them (and all the other children you have met) to decide that the vegan ones were the healthiest children you have ever met?

"What do you think inland populations did before refrigeration?"

Ate meat, I suppose. Vegetarianism and especially vegan diets being a relatively new phenomenon, I suppose long term (several generations) data is hard to come by.

"Surely if fish made you that much brighter than everyone else, then fish-eating populations would have subjugated everyone else (human nature being what it is)?"

There is little doubt that seaside towns are economically more prosperous in mot cases than landlocked ones, but that is of course also because harbours (i.e. trade) is good for economy. These things are hard to figure out just with examples, because there are so many contributing factors...

... which is why people control for those factors and construct studies to test hypotheses re food and its effects.

And studies show that there is little room for "if"s. Study after study shows that eating fish is very good for the brain, even for the fetus of women who eat fish.

Feel free to try to prove that you can get the same nutrients from other sources, but please don't try to argue that eating fish isn't good for the brain.

CoteDAzur Mon 21-Jan-13 22:37:51

feminist - I'm sorry if some vegetarians are bored about talking on vegetarianism. In that case, maybe they should not read & comment on threads on vegetarianism.

I have seen maybe thousands of threads on vaccination around here. Not once have I seen any of the regulars of the topic say anything like "If you want to learn, research it yourself".

ouryve Mon 21-Jan-13 23:17:53

OK, a few reasons why i went pescatarian way back when.

Firstly, I had difficulty digesting red meat. I'd feel bloated and not sleep at night. It still does that to me, but I've learnt to eat smaller portions when i do eat it.

I was concerned about animal welfare. 10-15 years ago, the relative transparency we have about animal welfare yeah, it's still not much, I know) wasn't there.

So I swore that I would only eat organic and british meat. Yeah, that was easy to get in the 90s.

So I only ate vegetarian plus fish. For 4 years.

If I ate out, I asked for vegetarian because I didn't want to be served something with gelatine in from goodness knows where. There was one occasion when I was served a supposedly vegetable soup that I'm sure had chicken stock in, all the same.

Moominsarehippos Tue 22-Jan-13 09:08:15

Gelatine! You expect them to know if there is gelatine in a dish and what it's made of? How very optimistic of you! Bleuch. Won't touch the stuff. I have vegan jelly instead.

BinarySolo Tue 22-Jan-13 09:22:55

Cote there seem very little point in explaining the virtues of vegetarian or vegan diets to you as you come across as very closed minded on the subject. Yes, when you cut out food groups you do need to take extra care in order to avoid deficiencies, but I'm sure many meat eaters don't eat fish or much fruit and veg so can be more at risk than a well informed vegan.

We do not need dairy to be healthy. Milk marketing boards have done a pretty good job of convincing people that we do, but there are many good plant sources of calcium, most of which are lower in fat. Cultures like Japan consume very little dairy and their diet is widely accepted to be very healthy.

As for vegetarian diets being relatively new, well actually that's not true. Many indian cultures are vegetarian (including Buddha himself). The poorer classes in history would have most likely have been predominantly vegetarian due to not being able to afford meat. Vegetarianism for moral grounds in western society may be "relatively" new, but that's perhaps because farming is more intense and crueler than ever.

Many seeds contain the same omega oils as fish. Tbh a study comparing o two sources effects would be more interesting. The larger of the 2 studies you mentioned was based on self reporting which makes it less scientific - even asking certain questions can make people change their perceptions.

hzgreen Tue 22-Jan-13 09:24:29

I figure if I'm going to eat something with gelatine in I might as well go the whole hog (pun not intended) and have a bacon sandwich. It's pretty hard to avoid sometimes, it keeps turning up in unexpected places.

Like you ouryve I felt I would maybe be willing to eat British organic meat but its still really hard to come by especially if you care not only about how animals are raised but how they're slaughtered as well. I have found it easier to just avoid meat altogether.

fascicle Tue 22-Jan-13 09:36:42

CoteDAzur
Vegetarianism and especially vegan diets being a relatively new phenomenon
So you haven't heard of vegetarianism in Ancient Greece or India?

There is little doubt that seaside towns are economically more prosperous in mot cases than landlocked ones, but that is of course also because harbours (i.e. trade) is good for economy.

Absolute opposite to the truth, e.g.
www.shu.ac.uk/_assets/pdf/cresr-englishseasidetowns.pdf

ouryve did you call yourself a vegetarian? I think the confusion arises when people term themselves vegetarian, but eat fish.

CoteDAzur Tue 22-Jan-13 11:06:24

Binary - Thank you for calling me "closed-minded". I will cherish that along with the "ignorant" that I have already been called on this thread hmm

"We do not need dairy to be healthy"

We don't. 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).

Well-informed adults can eat (drink, snort, or otherwise consume) whatever they want for whatever reason and I honestly wouldn't care much. It is when they impose these diets on small children, saying they are "vegetarian children" or "vegan children" as if they have a choice in the matter this becomes objectionable. This is what I have been saying on this thread.

"Cultures like Japan consume very little dairy and their diet is widely accepted to be very healthy."

Hardly surprising, since fatty fish make up a major portion of Japanese diet.

"As for vegetarian diets being relatively new, well actually that's not true."

I thought it was obvious that we were talking about Western world, but apologies for the confusion. I am of course aware of Indian diet & beliefs, but feel free to call me "ignorant" as some others have already done.

"The poorer classes in history would have most likely have been predominantly vegetarian due to not being able to afford meat"

And low income families' children have repeatedly tested lower on cognitive tests. Of course there are other factors affecting these results, but you really shouldn't say the above as if it helps your case (of abstaining from animal products not affecting children).

"Many seeds contain the same omega oils as fish."

Yes, but:
(1) Seeds don't contain all the essential fatty acids
(2) Absorption of omega oils is much higher from animal sources than plant sources, possibly because:
(3) Seeds have evolved not to be digestible by animals (which is the whole point of a seed - to be ejected out of the other end, after the fruit is eaten by animals)

"Tbh a study comparing o two sources effects would be more interesting."

I think there are many such studies, which is how we know that plant sources don't have all essential fatty acids, and that their absorption is much better from animal sources.

If you insist, I might have the time later this afternoon to find a few such studies, but since you people know everything and I'm so ignorant, maybe you already know them all and I'd be wasting my time wink

Crinkle77 Tue 22-Jan-13 11:12:04

YANBU especially if they don't eat other meat for ethical reasons. Fishing is one of the cruelest ways to die. I mean imagine having a big hook stuck in your mouth. Fishing is also hugely detrimental to the environment especially those big trawler nets which just scoop everything up off the sea bed

CoteDAzur Tue 22-Jan-13 11:15:25

fascicle - A casual look at the map of Europe will show you what I mean re seaside towns: Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona, Bilbao, Marseille, Rome, Naples, Athens, Casablanca, Algiers, Tripoli, Alexandria etc. All seaside towns that are historically and economically prosperous.

I'm sorry if you don't have many of those in the UK, but Dublin is on the sea and London is on the river Thames.

Again, I am not saying a diet rich in fish makes rich cities (there are so many other factors, like ease of trade), just pointing out that seaside port cities have historically been more prosperous than landlocked ones, in response to ThatGhastlyWoman's "if fish made you that much brighter than everyone else, then fish-eating populations would have subjugated everyone else".

CoteDAzur Tue 22-Jan-13 11:16:25

Crinkle - So would you prefer fishing with hooks or large nets?

Crinkle77 Tue 22-Jan-13 11:29:39

CoteDAzur don't really know why you are asking me that. I am not a vegetarian but all I am saying is that it annoys me when someone says they are vegetarian but they eat fish. If they don't eat other types of meat for ethical reasons then why is it ok to eat fish? I don't get it really.

BinarySolo Tue 22-Jan-13 11:48:44

Cote I never called you ignorant as you repeatedly say in your last post. You are coming across as closed minded though. Sorry if that offends you, but your posting style is quite aggressive, telling us veggies/vegans that we are damaging are children unless we can prove to you otherwise. I'm normally very happy to answer any questions about my diet, as are most other vegans/veggies I know but when someone is so hostile towards my beliefs then why should I waste my breath?

This isn't even a thread about the merits of non meat diets.

You've also taken some of what I said out of context. Yes Japanese diet contains plenty of fish but my point was about dairy. They manage to raise healthy children without using massive amounts of dairy. I'm managing to raise a very healthy toddler without using dairy and I'm in my second pregnancy without dairy. Any ill considered diet can be unhealthy, but stating vegan diets will lead to problem with conception etc is just ill informed.

I thought long and hard about my diet when weaning my son and saw a dietician. She had no problem with me raising my son vegan and when I told her what he was eating she said it was far healthier than the diets of lot of meat eaters.

Cows milk is for baby cows. We do not need it nor do we need to replace it with breast milk until the age of 10.

mademred Tue 22-Jan-13 12:10:31

Just out of interest how many vegetarians that don't eat fish drink wine? Because they use fish in some wines , infact a lot of wines.im allergic to fish and eggs and only buy coop Fairtrade that states its suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Scholes34 Tue 22-Jan-13 13:47:28

Since DS2 declared himself veggie (and won't eat fish on principle or baked beans to be awkward) we've discovered M&S's Veggie Percy Pigs. Why would anyone want to eat the non-veggie version? Veggie Percys are so much nicer.

Any veggie who wants the Worcestershire Sauce experience need look no further than Sheffield's very own Henderson's Relish (always anchovy free).

Something that I really don't know about, and not asking to be facetious, but do seafood and nut allergies run in families?

mademred Tue 22-Jan-13 15:03:57

Am not entirely sure if its hereditary, because I started my allergies when I turned 30 almost ten years ago.completely out of the blue, and my dad now also gets a reaction from eating fish and he's 68.i do wounder myself about my own kids , so maybe someone may enlighten us.

Just to be a bit funny why are vegetarians called vegetarians, to me this implies that they only eat vegetables, and no fruit or other non animal products. Sorry if this is silly but it occurred to me a couple of months ago, maybe I am too pedantic.

Moominsarehippos Tue 22-Jan-13 15:42:42

Yeh, lets change the name and really confuse everyone!

DoItToJulia Tue 22-Jan-13 16:07:15

Y'know, I forgot to hide this thread, and stupidly I have popped back to see the direction it has gone in.

It's such a shame that people want to criticise the use of a veggie or vegan diet for their kids. How I raise my kids is my business. How other posters raise their kids is their business. Whilst I am flattered that Internet strangers care about the nutritional content of my kids meals, I do wish they would mind their own business. By all means debate the merits of vegetarians eating or not acting fish, but do us veggie parents a favour and push off.

Wrt to isinglass in wine and some beers, are you trying to be helpful? I can't work out the tone of your post madem.

There. That feels better.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Tue 22-Jan-13 17:04:39

I know about the wine and beer but I didn't realise until recently that prawn cocktail pombears are not vegetarian, never mind ds and dh can eat them smile

mademred Tue 22-Jan-13 17:48:15

Yes because a lot of people don't realise.and if I was a vegetarian and found out I was unwittingly being given meat or fish in something you didn't know, I would be really upset.and unfortunately at the mo the laws don't insist that wine makers need to list the ingredients.its a minefield.

snuffaluffagus Tue 22-Jan-13 17:50:09

I do find it a bit annoying because when asked, I say "I'm vegetarian" and quite often get asked "do you eat fish?", I just answer "no, I'm vegetarian" (with a smile!), the person usually quantifies it by saying - "oh you know some stupid people say they are but eat chicken or fish" etc etc.

It would be easier if that person said, I don't eat red meat, just chicken or fish for me.. but they don't. C'est la vie!

Moominsarehippos Tue 22-Jan-13 17:56:26

My 'classic' was in France many moons ago

Me (to waiter): 'can I check this on the menu? I'm vegetarian'
Waiter: 'you're what?'
Me: 'je suis vegetarien, je n'mange pas les animaux, poulet, poisson, jambon...' (oh, my french was red hot then)
Waiter (loudly, with look of disgust): 'pffffft. We don't get many of those around here!'

fascicle Wed 23-Jan-13 12:43:31

CoteDAzur
"We do not need dairy to be healthy"

We don't. 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).

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

As for vegans breastfeeding their children until 10 or so - this shows gross ignorance of not just dietary requirements, but breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding practices (i.e. for all sorts of reasons, including physiology, breastfeeding a 10 year old and beyond = virtually impossible).

CoteDAzur
"As for vegetarian diets being relatively new, well actually that's not true."

I thought it was obvious that we were talking about Western world, but apologies for the confusion. I am of course aware of Indian diet & beliefs, but feel free to call me "ignorant" as some others have already done.

You focus on the Western World with this comment, but completely ignore vegetarianism amoungst the Ancient Greeks. With the next comment below, you completely ignore the UK and the plight of its seaside towns (as per PDF in my previous post):

CoteDAzur
fascicle - A casual look at the map of Europe will show you what I mean re seaside towns: Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona, Bilbao, Marseille, Rome, Naples, Athens, Casablanca, Algiers, Tripoli, Alexandria etc. All seaside towns that are historically and economically prosperous.

I'm sorry if you don't have many of those in the UK, but Dublin is on the sea and London is on the river Thames.

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

CoteDAzur, I can't tell if you're making things up for your own entertainment, or if you actually believe the things you write.

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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