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I'm A Vegetarian, but can I eat Tuna?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Hi I'm 16 years old and am new here. I have decided to become a vegetarian, I don't eat meat or fish but I do sometimes have tuna, it's one of my favouite foods but thats the only type of fish I eat, is this really bad? and can you still be a vegatarian if you eat tuna?
post #2 of 47
Please leave the tuna alone. Many other animals are killed during the capture of tuna and the fish themselves are tortured during capture and killing.
post #3 of 47
Nope. Tuna is a fish -- a large ocean fish. They do make substitutes, though. There's a substitute called Tuno, or you can make a chickpea (garbanzo bean) salad by mashing the chickpeas, then preparing it the same way you'd make your tuna fish salads.



You may also want to make sure you're avoiding animal broths (like chicken stock, beef stock, etc. that are used in soups.)



Congratulations on your efforts in avoiding meat! You're improving your health and saving many many animals each year!
post #4 of 47
If you eat tuna, you are an omnivore or "pescitarian". Vegetarians and vegans do not eat fish. Froggy has some good suggestions on substitutes.

Good luck!
post #5 of 47
It sounds like you are making some great changes in your diet. Congratulations on a smart move!



I would also recommend avoiding tuna, for the reasons the others have mentioned. However, don't beat yourself up just because change doesn't happen overnight. In my book, every bit you do helps, so you are already making great progress. Just go at your own pace.



Technically speaking, I *think* you would be termed a "pescatarian" -- eating fish but not other meat. But hardly anybody actually uses that word... so... *shrug*



Just one note -- I have often had people offer me fish because they knew other "vegetarians" who ate it... and they had a hard time believing me that I didn't (!). So I would ask that you be careful about what label you use; it might confuse people, and it might lead to a non-fish-eater getting served fish sauce or something because someone didn't understand what "vegetarian" means in its technical sense.
post #6 of 47
If you eat tuna, you aren't vegetarian. But its good to try to remove animals from your diet, no matter how you label yourself.
post #7 of 47
tuna has mercury in it if you are a girl and ever want to be a mom you should stop eating tuna...mercury can cause birth defects.
post #8 of 47
here is one of many articles on the subject of mecury in tuna http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/f...na-mercury.htm
post #9 of 47
Dolphins love to swim with tuna.



It is estimated that since the 1970s, when monitoring of this began, about seven million dolphins have been killed when caught in the fishing nets of the fishermen who are fishing for tuna.



Each time you eat a tuna, you are maybe unwittingly contributing to the death of a dolphin too.



Give your remaining tuna to your cat, and find something else tasty to eat. That's my advice to you.



(And no, if you eat fish you are NOT a vegetarian.)
post #10 of 47
Tuna are cute. Save the tuna!
post #11 of 47
my answer is you can eat whatever you like, but if you wish to be known as a vegetarian, dont eat fish, if you would like to be known as a person who doesnt eat meat but eats tuna go ahead, its up to you. i would also think of the reasons you are doing it? animal cruelty, then i wouldnt eat the tuna...
post #12 of 47
Like others have said, you are not a vegetarian. If you want to be a vegetarian and have already cut out all other meats and fish other than tuna it should be a very easy transition. There are so many options to replace your tuna. Congrats on the cutting down of meats!
post #13 of 47
I don't know of any reason to assume that tuna suffer less than other fish. Tuna are worse for your health than many other kinds of fish because they're higher up the food chain, so have more heavy metals such as mercury which damage the brain. So I wouldn't recommend keeping them of all fish in your diet.
post #14 of 47
If you are going to continue eating tuna occasionally then make sure you get stuff labelled as 'dolphin friendly', it causes slightly less suffering.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sproutsfan View Post

I don't know of any reason to assume that tuna suffer less than other fish. Tuna are worse for your health than many other kinds of fish because they're higher up the food chain, so have more heavy metals such as mercury which damage the brain. So I wouldn't recommend keeping them of all fish in your diet.



Maybe because they are so big, so more food from less animals?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post

Dolphins love to swim with tuna.



It is estimated that since the 1970s, when monitoring of this began, about seven million dolphins have been killed when caught in the fishing nets of the fishermen who are fishing for tuna.



Each time you eat a tuna, you are maybe unwittingly contributing to the death of a dolphin too.



Give your remaining tuna to your cat, and find something else tasty to eat. That's my advice to you.



(And no, if you eat fish you are NOT a vegetarian.)



I was wondering: why do people care more about dolphins dying then tunas dying? They are both pretty large animals, only the one is a mammel and the other a fish. Is it because of flipper? The cute factor?



Of course, dolphins are very intelligent, so maybe that's the reason. I admit that I also feel more compassion for dolphins then for tuna fish. I'm just wondering why...
post #16 of 47
You should try my mock tuna salad...



http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...highlight=tuna



Here are some other recipes for fake tuna, I haven't tried them so I don't know how they are...



http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...highlight=tuna

http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...highlight=tuna

http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...highlight=tuna

http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...highlight=tuna



Quote:
I was wondering: why do people care more about dolphins dying then tunas dying?



I've always wondered that myself.
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post #17 of 47
The "dolphin safe" tuna labeling is questionable. I saw a senate subcommittee hearing on it and some group had gotten info/footage of dolphins being maimed and killed in the process of harvesting "dolphin safe" tuna.



The lesson: Never believe the meat industry and their claims about animal protection. They don't care - after all, their business is killing animals. They have a strong history of trying to get around worker rights and protections, animal welfare, consumer safety, and every other regulation they can.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

Every animal you eat
was running for her life

Reply

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

Every animal you eat
was running for her life

Reply
post #18 of 47
The "dolphin safe" tuna labeling is questionable. I saw a senate subcommittee hearing on it and some group had gotten info/footage of dolphins being maimed and killed in the process of harvesting "dolphin safe" tuna.



The lesson: Never believe the meat industry and their claims about animal protection. They don't care - after all, their business is killing animals. They have a strong history of trying to get around worker rights and protections, animal welfare, consumer safety, and every other regulation they can.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

Every animal you eat
was running for her life

Reply

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

Every animal you eat
was running for her life

Reply
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by inie View Post

I was wondering: why do people care more about dolphins dying then tunas dying? They are both pretty large animals, only the one is a mammel and the other a fish. Is it because of flipper? The cute factor?



Of course, dolphins are very intelligent, so maybe that's the reason. I admit that I also feel more compassion for dolphins then for tuna fish. I'm just wondering why...



Probably because dolphins are more prone to interacting w/ humans than tuna, and I've never heard of tuna saving people, protecting them from sharks, etc. As usual, all people care about is what the wildlife can do for them.



Regardless of the logic, less dolphins and less tuna are killed so it seems like a win win to me.
post #20 of 47
It's not necessarily that dolphin deaths "matter" more; to some people, it's the wastefulness. If people found out that every time a cow dies, we kill a rhino too and then just chuck the bodies somewhere, there might be a similar outcry.



Though likely the cute factor contributes quite a bit.
post #21 of 47
Please don't eat tuna if you can possibly avoid it. The mercury levels are quite high and can cause reproductive problems in women of child-bearing age (yes, you are 16 now, but if you want to have kids someday, tuna is a bad idea, as are many other fishes). People suggested the fake tuna called Tuno, try that. You are not a vegetarian, but I am glad to hear you are trying to be healthy and cut down on animal exploitation.



I think tuna is disgusting, personally, and should be left for cats (it smells like catfood anyway).
post #22 of 47
Thank you, Irizary. That's exactly the point I wanted to make.



"Dolphin Safe" is a buzzword that's tossed around a lot but means next to nothing IRL. You'll find that there's a lot of them in the meat/dairy industry (in US).



And let me tell you... chickpea sammiches (I call them "smooshies") are off the hook! You've seriously gotta make a batch up. It'll rock your socks off for sure.
post #23 of 47
Tuna was the one meat I had a hard time giving up but I knew I wanted to be able to call myself a vegetarian and vegetarians don't eat fish.



Just give up tuna for a few months and try some the great recipes that have been posted here. I bet you won't even want to back to eating tuna again!
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by inie View Post

Maybe because they are so big, so more food from less animals?

Good point. It reminds me of how some conservations/environmentalists try to convince people to eat small fish instead of whales. The only benefit would be to human health, if the whale's species is higher up the food chain, yet they don't mention this and instead make it seem like it's about animal welfare.



Quote:
Originally Posted by inie View Post

I was wondering: why do people care more about dolphins dying then tunas dying? They are both pretty large animals, only the one is a mammel and the other a fish. Is it because of flipper? The cute factor?



Of course, dolphins are very intelligent, so maybe that's the reason. I admit that I also feel more compassion for dolphins then for tuna fish. I'm just wondering why...

I agree with the reasons you and others suggest. It can't be helped that we have biases like that, and that we aren't always sure where they come from -just as we often don't know why we like certain people more or less than others. As long as we make a conscious effort not to act on unfounded feelings (or lack of feelings) then it's not an aspect of human nature that necessarily will cause harm.
post #25 of 47
Nope. You are, as has been noted above, a pescetarian. You eat fish. You might not want to, though. Pollution makes tuna a less than savory food choice. You could put your energy into eschewing the tuna and volunteering for clean ocean causes. But in the end, your food choices are up to you.



And you're doing a great job of avoiding other meat; why not make it universal? I really love the chickpea salad sandwich...just dump a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in the blender or processor, add some vegannaise, chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions, and garlic salt, and have yourself a party in a sandwich. Good luck!
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by inie View Post

Maybe because they are so big, so more food from less animals?







I was wondering: why do people care more about dolphins dying then tunas dying? They are both pretty large animals, only the one is a mammel and the other a fish. Is it because of flipper? The cute factor?



Of course, dolphins are very intelligent, so maybe that's the reason. I admit that I also feel more compassion for dolphins then for tuna fish. I'm just wondering why...



i dont i feel that,i think dolphin and tuna are equal.

i dont really dig that whole cute dolphin thing, give me a girrafe or a sloth bear anyday...
post #27 of 47
post #28 of 47
Wow, I didn't realize they were THAT big. they are really beautiful fish. I bet they're even more beautiful alive.



Eat whatever you want, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't call yourself a vegetarian if you are going to eat fish. Any kind of fish.
post #29 of 47
I had no idea that is what tuna looked like - those pictures are beautiful and heartbreaking. I can't imagine how you could eat tuna ever again after seeing those... That was eye-opening Rainbow_Clouds...
post #30 of 47
I use a really good sandwich spread made with chick peas. lightly steamed green beans and salsa make a really good sandwich (and healthy) too. There are great non-meat alternates to fish in cans. These are really fish-- so if you eat them you are not a Vegitarian (yet). Some people go through transitional stages to become Vegitarian. Some heavy meat eaters take a year or more. Others go cold turkey, and stop eating meat over night. (I believe the numbers are about 50/50. So don't punch yourself if you are not a total vegitarian (or vegan). Any non-meat eating you can do will help animals, and will be better for your health & the environment.
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