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To be annoyed with "vegetarians" that eat fish

(238 Posts)
exBrightonBell Thu 03-Jan-13 20:43:41

If you eat fish then you aren't a vegetarian - it's as simple as that! I'm a vegetarian and it pisses me off when I say so, and the next question is "do you eat fish?" Er, no, because I already said that I'm VEGETARIAN. It's just lazy and it causes confusion for actual vegetarians.

Now I appreciate that the term pescetarian is a bit of a clunky term that is unlikely to be used. But it IS the correct name for the fish eating brigade.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Thu 03-Jan-13 23:25:07

YANBU. I know someone who eats fish (a lot!) but always describes herself as vegetarian - drives me nuts, for all the reasons explained so well in this thread. But I feel the need to share her rationale for consuming fish: "because she can't bear the idea of eating something that looks after its young". And fish don't, apparently. It's all very simple and we're not allowed to argue. Logic, not so much...

Hmm, well our family are vegetarian at home. Everyone except me is vegetarian full stop. DH feels strongly about animal welfare as do DC's now, following in his footsteps.

I quite like the occasional bit of fish when I'm out with friends. Perhaps it's a slight rebelliousness when away from home. Perhaps I just like the different taste and to enjoy different cultural cuisines more fully. I've also caught fish myself and feel it's different in some ways to killing other animals which I can't imagine myself doing and so wouldn't want to ask others to do for me.
There's also evidence that eating fish and vegetables is quite a natural, healthy, and sustainable diet.

So, I do think being a pesky pescatarian can be a reasonable and considered choice.

The term "vegetarian" is much older (1840's ?) than the new term pescatarian (1990's ?) so IMHO it's understandable if it's not thoroughly used and understood as yet.

Also, you cannot just blame pescatarian's for others intolerance and misunderstanding of vegetarians. I have been offered fish even when I've said I was vegetarian.

I guess at the end of the day there are some people who will eat fish but not (other) meat. Just as there are people who decline red meat.

At the end of the day people are entitled to make their own dietary preferences known (in whatever way they feel will be understood ?)

AudrinaWhiteChristmasAdare Thu 03-Jan-13 23:32:44

There was a thread about this a couple of weeks ago and someone made the point that if you say that you are pescatarian, it not only sounds wanky but implies that fish is the majority of your diet.

I eat certain types of fish cooked a certain type of way (autistic with severe food issues) a few times a year and only at home. I remember DH telling BIL that I ate fish and I was presented with a whole one with the skin, eyes and bones in shock when my major reason for not eating meat is that I can't stomach the flesh and the former-aliveness of it <sounder weirder by the word> grin

So I say I am mostly vegetarian. Seems like a decent compromise.

I was fully vegetarian growing up though and was always being told that surely a bit of ham or chicken would be alright so I do see that side of it too.

MrsBungleBear Thu 03-Jan-13 23:36:29

Well I think YAB a but U!

My DH was vegetarian for 25 years until last year when he decided he would eat some types of line caught sustainable fish.

Now, for ease, when giving information for say a flight or a wedding he says vegetarian - not everyone has heard of pescetarian.

Mamajammas Thu 03-Jan-13 23:37:09

I am one of those people who, when offered meat, say they're vegetarian.

I eat fish at home on rare occasions but don't eat it out at restaurants and haven't eaten meat since I was 12.

For that reason, it's easier to say I'm veggie because as far as they need to know, I am one. It saves on a lot of unnecessary explaining and makes eating easier whilst out.

I can't bear all the "lecturer vegetarians" who impose their beliefs on others with their holier than you bullshit (you know who you are).

OrangeLily Thu 03-Jan-13 23:37:12

This winds me up so badly. We have an (almost) family member who does this and I want to strangle them. You.are.not.a.vegetarian..... but you are a giant pain in the ass

I think you sound eminently reasonable Audrina smile

Mamajammas Thu 03-Jan-13 23:38:39

Saying you're a pescatarian sounds like you just live on fish. It's a stupid term.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 03-Jan-13 23:39:14

I've been a vegetarian since I was 14 yo (I'm now 46yo).
So you can imagine back in the early 1980s it was more Health Food Shops than supermarkets.

So many times I'm asked "Do you eat fish or chicken"
"Oh, so you're a vegan "
" No "

Then I have to explain lacto-ovo . But usually I don't explain confused

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Thu 03-Jan-13 23:42:15

Juggling - I would say the family is vegetarian but I am not, we eat a vegetarian diet at home but when I'm out I sometimes eat fish. (Err that's YOU not me, I don't eat fish grin)

People aren't really entitled to make their own dietary preferences known in whatever way they feel will be understood when the cost is making that word meaningless. There are other ways of making yourself understood without making the general understanding of 'vegetarian' incorrect.

Lindsay321 Thu 03-Jan-13 23:42:58

When I gave up meat in ernest I still ate fish. I have no idea why, it was wrong considering why I gave up meat. Thats not the case now

Maybe they're hobbyists or staring out like I was. Meat and Fish are everywhere so it's easier to be pescatarian at first.

These people are a damn sight better than the ones who quiz you on being a vegetarian then proclaim (much to everyone else's amusement) "but sausages are laaaarrrvley!!!! (so is not seeing your face in the room)

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Thu 03-Jan-13 23:44:39

MrsBunglebear/Mama - that's fine. It's not a problem booking/saying you are 'vegetarian' it's when that person then says 'Oh, I'll have the fish' that the problems arise.

AudrinaWhiteChristmasAdare Thu 03-Jan-13 23:46:17

Thank you Juggling smile

All these labels... DH eats too much meat but doesn't like lamb and it doesn't like him (TMI) but he has never had to explain himself.

I just think you'll find it's the traditional meat eaters not the pesky pescatarians that are really most to blame for failing to take on board the pretty simple understanding of a vegetarian diet smile

MerylStrop Thu 03-Jan-13 23:47:20

Vegetarians do not eat fish so YANBU

I'm a lapsed veggie (30 years, with vegan stints)

I find saying "I don't eat meat" suffices.

In fact it is better than saying you are vegetarian as you are less likely to be looked at as a hippy even in this day and age.

Bogeyface Thu 03-Jan-13 23:47:22

My friend does use the term Pescatarian because she was a proper veggie for years and for her it was a bug bear! But, she only eats fish not sea food and wont eat or wear any animal products at all. She started eating fish in pregnancy because she was craving it after 20 years of not eating it and felt that it was her body telling her she needed it.

But with weddings, restaurants etc she uses vegetarian as it is much simpler. As a PP said, some people think that a bit of chicken or "wafer thin ham" will be ok!

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 23:47:40

Any proper vegetarian who is vegetarian for moral reasons would not want to eat fish. Fish is still meat from something that was once alive and is now dead for food.

(sorry that was in response to Chipping In - I should remember to say !)

Bogeyface Thu 03-Jan-13 23:48:31

I dont eat meat btw, but I am not veggie! I just dont like meat but I dont have a moral or dietary objection to it. I eat animal products.

schilke Thu 03-Jan-13 23:50:32

Yanbu. We are all veggie. I blame these fish eating so called vegetarians for me being offered fish when I have said I am veggie. So many people/restaurants seem to think being vegetarian means that you eat fish.

I have a friend who went veggie for about 1 month, however in this month she still ate fish and chicken. I mean wtf?!

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 23:52:33

That really annoys me when so called veggies eat chicken as well!

If I said to anyone that I was vegetarian I would always take the veggie option.

A couple of times though, once at a small lunch, and once at a friends house abroad, there wasn't a veggie option - only fish or fish eggs (after I had reassured them that DH and I did eat eggs - "yes, all varieties !" - this was in Japan !)

So, I have eaten fish after asking for a vegetarian diet, but only when there was no other option provided (IIRC) - though at the lunch I guess I could have just had the veggies.

Devora Fri 04-Jan-13 00:01:08

Well, YANBU. But then, I am guilty of letting people believe I am vegetarian because it does make life easier. I'm not politically or ethically opposed to eating meat, but I prefer not to - this is a lifelong preference since earliest childhood. If someone serves me meat, I will try my damnedest to eat it because that's good manners (if you're not a principled vegetarian, IYSWIM), but it's ever so much easier to just say 'yes' if they ask if I'm vegetarian. I will eat fish, but I'm more hardline on shellfish than I am on meat - there is no way on this earth I could ever put a prawn in my mouth, which is a hangover of my Jewish heritage - and I feel like a real twat running through a long list of likes and dislikes.

But if I'm asked to describe my food preferences, I would usually say, "I prefer not to eat meat or shellfish".

Theunincredibles Fri 04-Jan-13 00:04:30

Yanbu. Used to drive me crackers when I was a veggie... No I do not want fish and chips. And as for chicken, how anyone can say they are a vegetarian but eat chicken is beyond me. I was a vegetarian for 12years, then I had some chicken, I was no longer a vegetarian and no longer classed myself as one.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 04-Jan-13 00:07:33


The clue is in the name.

People who only eat veg/fruit = vegetarian

People who eat veg/fruit/fish = pescetarian

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