Dilemma - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 07-23-2016, 07:35 AM
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Question Dilemma

So I am 14 years old and have decided to go vegetarian. Currently, however, I am forced to eat fish by my parents and my doctor. On my next visit to the doctor, I am to decide wether I want to keep eating fish or not. I had decided right away that I wouldn't eat fish, but my mother is really concerned about me having a diet without fish. Two weeks ago she offered me a deal, which suddenly made everything a lot harder. She said that if I kept eating fish ("sustainable" cod and samlon, preferably MSC), she would become a flexitarian (eating fish, dairy and eggs, as well as meat when served and on christmas eve).

My reasons for becoming a vegetarian is 50 % to decrease my contribution to climate change and 50 % because I think killing animals is ethically wrong. I assume that two pescetarians have a smaller carbon footprint than one vegetarian and one regular omnivore. That would make the decision to keep eating fish more climate-friendly than being completely vegetarian, as long as I am right.

My mother also says that fish do not feel pain, although I believe it's better to be safe than sorry, as some researches say they do. However, my impression is that killing cattle, pigs and other animals is more wrong, because they are far more intelligent and might have more awareness around pain.

At last, I am concerned about the nearly complete lack of DHA and EPA fatty acids in a vegetarian diet. I don't think algal oil is an option, as it is rather expensive, and my parents have repeteadly said they don't want this diet of mine to cost them too much money.

I am really lost in this dilemma and have no idea of what to do. I don't want to talk about this with my parents, as they obviously won't have very objective arguments, as they have already picked a side. If you have any opinions on this, please answer. Thanks

Last edited by lamaosth; 07-23-2016 at 07:37 AM.
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#2 Old 07-23-2016, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamaosth View Post

I am really lost in this dilemma and have no idea of what to do. I don't want to talk about this with my parents, as they obviously won't have very objective arguments, as they have already picked a side. If you have any opinions on this, please answer. Thanks

No need to eat fish.

Even very conservative food organizations, like the United States Department of Agriculture, have stated that properly-planned vegetarian diets are healthy: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/tips-vegetarians


It sounds like your parents may be afraid to allow you to become vegetarian. They are concerned about your health, as all good parents are.

You and your parents may find it useful to make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian. A Registered Dietitian is a professional with a university degree and national certification in human nutrition. Registered Dietitians aren't usually vegetarian, but they are knowledgeable about proper vegetarian nutrition. They can help your parents to understand vegetarian nutrition, and hopefully calm their fears.

In the United States, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.eatright.org . Just click on the red "Find An Expert" button in the upper right of the page.

In Canada, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.dietitians.ca (their website is down for maintenance until Monday).

In the UK, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.freelancedietitians.org/

.

_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991

Last edited by David3; 07-23-2016 at 08:27 AM.
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#3 Old 07-23-2016, 08:30 AM
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By the way!!

If you are interested in further discussion about fish, you can try visiting a pescetarian or flexitarian forum, such as this one: https://theflexitarian.co.uk/forum/


Veggieboards does not support the consideration of fish as food.

.

_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991

Last edited by David3; 07-23-2016 at 08:43 AM.
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#4 Old 07-23-2016, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamaosth View Post
So I am 14 years old and have decided to go vegetarian. Currently, however, I am forced to eat fish by my parents and my doctor. On my next visit to the doctor, I am to decide wether I want to keep eating fish or not. I had decided right away that I wouldn't eat fish, but my mother is really concerned about me having a diet without fish. Two weeks ago she offered me a deal, which suddenly made everything a lot harder. She said that if I kept eating fish ("sustainable" cod and samlon, preferably MSC), she would become a flexitarian (eating fish, dairy and eggs, as well as meat when served and on christmas eve).

My reasons for becoming a vegetarian is 50 % to decrease my contribution to climate change and 50 % because I think killing animals is ethically wrong. I assume that two pescetarians have a smaller carbon footprint than one vegetarian and one regular omnivore. That would make the decision to keep eating fish more climate-friendly than being completely vegetarian, as long as I am right.

My mother also says that fish do not feel pain, although I believe it's better to be safe than sorry, as some researches say they do. However, my impression is that killing cattle, pigs and other animals is more wrong, because they are far more intelligent and might have more awareness around pain.

At last, I am concerned about the nearly complete lack of DHA and EPA fatty acids in a vegetarian diet. I don't think algal oil is an option, as it is rather expensive, and my parents have repeteadly said they don't want this diet of mine to cost them too much money.

I am really lost in this dilemma and have no idea of what to do. I don't want to talk about this with my parents, as they obviously won't have very objective arguments, as they have already picked a side. If you have any opinions on this, please answer. Thanks
Tbh, at 14 years old, I think I would take the deal with your mother. She will then be preparing vegetarian food for both of you often, and perhaps for others as well. Often people become vegetarian when they begin like this. Maybe tell her once a week is fine for your fish intake.

Meantime, learning to cook vegetarian food can become a very useful hobby for you!

Best of luck, my son went veg very young, and led my husband and me to become vegan. We have all now been vegan for twelve years.

Edited to add: I just talked to my (now 23, still vegan) son, and he was aghast at my reply. He said he never would have taken that deal if I had offered it to him, that he wouldn't have eaten fish, that the deal sounded like a bribe. (He went vegan for 4 reasons: animals, environment, health, and because it was the only logical way to live).

Sorry such a long and confusing reply--thank you for sparking an interesting conversation between my son and me, as well.
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Last edited by LedBoots; 07-24-2016 at 04:18 AM.
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#5 Old 07-25-2016, 05:59 AM
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There's nobody who should force you doing something and there is no need for you to eat any fish because there are supplements that can "supplement" whatever you need from fish meat.
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#6 Old 07-25-2016, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamaosth View Post

At last, I am concerned about the nearly complete lack of DHA and EPA fatty acids in a vegetarian diet. I don't think algal oil is an option, as it is rather expensive, and my parents have repeteadly said they don't want this diet of mine to cost them too much money.



Vegan DHA/EPA supplements are not that expensive. Amazon sells a 2 month supply for about $30: https://www.amazon.com/Ovega-3-Veget.../dp/B004LL7AXE

.

_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991
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#7 Old 07-25-2016, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David3 View Post
Vegan DHA/EPA supplements are not that expensive. Amazon sells a 2 month supply for about $30: https://www.amazon.com/Ovega-3-Veget.../dp/B004LL7AXE

.
Thanks! Those are my favorite- no burps (I've had algae burps with another! Tastes like fish....)
Get them while you can, they're often unavailable.
I've upped my chia and flax when I don't have them and I do see a difference. All the 3-6-9 boggles me down...
I think avoiding processed oils is a very good idea- leaving cold pressed oils like olive, flax maybe grapeseed?

Anyway, to the op, avoid discussion of the reletives diet completely when negotiating yours. This sounds more like a relationship issue than diet
I will add if fish a deal breaker at least they have an interest in sustainability.
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