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pescatarian

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
Several years back I switched from being a lacto-ovo "vegetarian" to a pescatarian. I have recently been browsing through many postings on these boards which condemn pescatarians, labeling them as meat-eaters, while at the same time defending lacto-ovo's as more deserving of the vegetarian label and equating some sort of moral superiority with it. Personnally I find this quite farsical.

I have spent several years living throughout east asia since and admittedly, allowing myself fish has been a matter of self-preservation while trying to find non-(land animal)meat dishes in cultures where it can be quite difficult and there is a huge language barrier. My primary motivation in chosing this diet, however, is the minimizing of suffering and misery to animals. I believe the suffering caused to fish, who spend their lives freely swimming the oceans up until the time they are caught, cannot even begin to compare to the immense suffering caused by the egg and diary industries. I have yet to hear of fish being raised in factory farm conditions.

I, nonetheless, do acknowledge many good reasons for eventually eliminating fish from my diet, they are afterall a conscious lifeform, the oceans have become a virtual cesspool of toxins and pollution, not to mention the environmental damage caused by many modern fishing practices. One day my wife, child, and I will settle back down in Canada and plan to return to a Vegan diet. We will also continue to promote animal rights, love, and compassion.

In the meantime, I will gladly shed the pesco-vegetarian label and just call myself a pescatarian, or pescavoire, or whatever it is the egg and milk eaters think I should be called. My goal, afterall, is to minimize animal suffering and not to get an ID label for the veggie club.

I'm looking forward to hearing any feedback.
post #2 of 79
Quote:
I believe the suffering caused to fish, who spend their lives freely swimming the oceans up until the time they are caught, cannot even begin to compare to the immense suffering caused by the egg and diary industries. I have yet to hear of fish being raised in factory farm conditions.

I encourage you to do research about these topics you presented. There are fish farms, and fish do suffer on a large scale. They are often starved, frozen alive, and endure harsh conditions just like cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and other animals. You may be surprised at what you find.



Check out http://fishinghurts.com and search around for other sites about fish. They suffer just as every other animals does.
post #3 of 79
janie is correct- many fish you'll find at the supermarket or at restaurants are actually farmed fish. As well, overfishing is a huge issue for the fish, biodiversity, and the environment.



Also, strictly by definition, fish is not a vegetarian food, and can't be considered part of a vegetarian diet.



That being said, I too share your frustration with how sometimes lacto-ovo vegetarians are very condemning of pescatarians, when in many cases their own diet may be even worse for animals. Someone who eats essentially vegan but has fish or fish sauce once in a while is likely causing less harm to animals than someone who eats dairy or eggs with any degree of regularity.



I hope you are in a better position to be vegan soon.
post #4 of 79
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_farming



If you're not a fan of wikipedia, feel free to use sources that are credible to you.



If you used to be lacto-ovo then added fish, I assume you're still getting dairy and eggs (unless I missed something) as well as the fish. So what exactly is your complaint? You want to call yourself a vegetarian, or a pesco-vegetarian or whatever it is? You're doing as much damage with the eggs and dairy, and adding fish on top of that.
post #5 of 79
Thread Starter 
Without going to the websites where you learned about fishing, I do know a few things about the fishing industry and have worked as an observer for the Canadian Department of Fisheries. You are correct in that there are fish farms, however the vast majority of fish consumed by humans on this planet do not come from them. Also I have personally witnessed the gross commercial exploitation of the fish stocks in the North Atlantic and was quite disturbed by it, however of the millions of fish I have seen so called "harvested", I had never once seen a single fish that was able to live long enough to be frozen alive, with the exception of herring, which are iced on ship, and which I dont eat.
post #6 of 79
Um, I don't know if this matters at all, but I don't really care what people eat. But if you eat fish and call yourself a vegetarian, you're wrong. If you call yourself a pescetarian, I take no issue. But I'm SICK of people offering me fish as a vegetarian, as no vegetarian eats fish.



If you eat meat, you eat meat. Eat whatever the heck you want. FIsh is a type of meat, and if you want to eat it, thats totally fine! But don't be calling yourself a vegetarian, or you'll be subject to our scorn ;-) I respect pescetarians, at least they are eating less meat. I don't respect people who misuse a label because its convenient for them. Labels ARE important sometimes.



This is a pretty hostile first post. I hope you didn't come here just to try to convince us that eating fish is a vegetarian thing to do, because it just isnt. Not everything is vegetarian for the "pain" it causes animals anyway, you know, and no amount of rationalization will convince me that a fish is a plant, lol. ;-)
post #7 of 79
Thread Starter 
You did misunderstand Jessica, I do not eat eggs or diary.
post #8 of 79
One more thing, about your "morality" debate between lacto-ovos and pescetarians: Who the heck cares. A lacto-ovo is a vegetarian. A pescetarian is not. These are the veggie boards, not the "I'm more moral than you are" boards. I'm pretty sure the terms of service say that anyone who is striving towards a more vegetarian diet is welcome, and you made it clear in your first post you are. Kudos! Welcome and don't get all hung up about silly debates that aren't important. :-)
post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaianbudo View Post

Without going to the websites where you learned about fishing, I do know a few things about the fishing industry and have worked as an observer for the Canadian Department of Fisheries. You are correct in that there are fish farms, however the vast majority of fish consumed by humans on this planet do not come from them. Also I have personally witnessed the gross commercial exploitation of the fish stocks in the North Atlantic and was quite disturbed by it, however of the millions of fish I have seen so called "harvested", I had never once seen a single fish that was able to live long enough to be frozen alive, with the exception of herring, which are iced on ship, and which I dont eat.





I find this amusing. You stated in in your original post that you've "Yet to hear about fish being raised in factory farm conditions."



You can justify it all you want. Personally, I'm with VeggieLove. I don't care what you eat. Just don't get me served fish.
post #10 of 79
just start calling them lavotarians. :shiftyeyes:



When you consider fishing, you have to consider overfishing by large trawlers - not just single-line-down-by-the-pond. Just like when you consider dairy and eggs you have to consider what happens to the males.



And so, which would cause more harm?

All things included diary probably does the most harm to a persons body. Then perhaps mercury levels in fish. Then eggs. Then regular fish.



Harm to the animals?

I would guess industry eggs to be the worst, then industry fishing, then industry dairy, then small fishing,small dairy,small eggs.



Reasons:

Eggs: males are killed - ovo-tarians alone contribute to 9Mil/Y.

Fishing: overfishing is causing huge environmental impacts

Dairy: veal calves, lifetime of enslavement, and environmental impacts... i would place these three as extremely close in negative impacts



Fishing: going down to the lake to catch one fish causes way less harm then consuming 90% of the produced dairy/eggs out there. Pretty rare all things considered.

Diary: You care for a cow, the cow has a baby, you take excess milk and drink it... at least it doesn't kill anything. But this is a rare case.

Eggs: cooking and eating an egg from a 'pet' chicken. no harm no foul [kek]. aside from husbandry issues this would be the least impactful - but again this is extremely rare.



So I would say most lavotarians contribute to a industry with similar negative impacts as someone who eats fish, but it's hard to place a utilitarian number on it.



So my answer would be to go vegan. Don't contribute to any animal industry.



But in the meantime don't let lavotarians get you down, we're all on the same path of ethics, some of us are just at different spots moving at different rates. I'm not saying vegans are perfect either - just a little further ahead on the path. But we're all moving forward, and hopefully one day there will be enough that we can declare slaughterhouses abolished.



good luck
post #11 of 79
Troub, are you ok?
post #12 of 79
I don't always condemn people who eat fish.

I would find it more ethically acceptablble to eat fish then dairy for instance. My main issues with eating fish involve ocean fishing which is the most destructive hunting there is. I'm really scared of what will happen to the balance of the world because of peoples' apetite for fish flesh.



My only issue with it is that this is a veg*n board and eating fish does not fit the defination of being veg*n. If the mods wanted to include limited forms of omnivorism such as being pecestarian, I'd be ok with that.
post #13 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipse View Post

I don't always condemn people who eat fish.

I would find it more ethically acceptablble to eat fish then dairy for instance. My main issues with eating fish involve ocean fishing which is the most destructive hunting there is. I'm really scared of what will happen to the balance of the world because of peoples' apetite for fish flesh.



My only issue with it is that this is a veg*n board and eating fish does not fit the defination of being veg*n. If the mods wanted to include limited forms of omnivorism such as being pecestarian, I'd be ok with that.



I'm pretty sure the TOS has a line about people wanting to limit their consumption of meat or are interested in becoming vegetarian. If I got that right, then the OP fits both categories.
post #14 of 79
I'm still kinda new at this, but I've read the "stupid things omnivores say" thread, and I think I understand the biggest reason veg*ns have a problem with pescatarians. People who call themselves vegetarian and eat fish cause misconceptions in the general public. Many non-veg*ns know a pescatarian who calls themselves a vegetarian, so they're more likely to think that all vegetarians eat fish. In turn, this makes it tougher for the rest of us to get food without fish when we tell people we're vegetarian.



--Fromper

post #15 of 79
Thread Starter 
So my answer would be to go vegan. Don't contribute to any animal industry.



I agree Troub, this is definitely the best solution and there is no doubt about the environmental devastation caused by overfishing. As far as the fish farm issue goes, I am still convinced that the majority of fish eaten around the world does not come from fish farms, if you look at the United States as a microcosm this however might not be true. I am currently living in Korea, yesterday I walked through a massive fish market, was quite sickened and much closer to not eating fish again. One thing is certain though, not a single one of those fish came from a fish farm.

Your right also Veggielove, my original post was perhaps overly hostile. I am in no way trying to convince anyone, especially vegans, that fish is vegetarian. It was a hostility born of a realization of how superficial this label has become. I spent about a decade alternating between vegan and lacto-ovo before resuming fish eating. My wife and I have spent about a decade involved in animal rights/liberation work and promoting the meat-free diet, converting many people in the process. I do feel frustrated however, with the realization that so many people that now claim the vegetarian label are city dwelling urbanites who have hardly ever been in nature, have spent virtually no time among animals outside of the ones that came from a pet store, have learned pretty much everything they know about the issues from other peoples websites and care more about labels then actual animal suffering.

You are right also veggielove in that anyone striving to go further down the road is welcome and it is a very good thing. As far as your clearcut statement that lacto-ovos are vegetarians and pescotarians are not, and who cares about the morality, well this just reidifies my point, the term has become nothing more than a label. And if the morality doesn't matter, then what is the point.
post #16 of 79
gaianbudo;



The issue isn't whether you eat fish or not. What upsets a lot of us is people using the wrong terminology; that makes life more difficult for us. Veggielove summed it up very well.



Quote:
I don't know if this matters at all, but I don't really care what people eat. But if you eat fish and call yourself a vegetarian, you're wrong. If you call yourself a pescetarian, I take no issue. But I'm SICK of people offering me fish as a vegetarian, as no vegetarian eats fish.



If you eat meat, you eat meat. Eat whatever the heck you want. FIsh is a type of meat, and if you want to eat it, thats totally fine! But don't be calling yourself a vegetarian, or you'll be subject to our scorn ;-) I respect pescetarians, at least they are eating less meat. I don't respect people who misuse a label because its convenient for them. Labels ARE important sometimes.



Just last week I found out that they have been giving my 4 year old vegetarian daughter fish at school, even though we very clearly told them that she doesn't eat fish or any kind of meat. Someone didn't get the full message and thought it was OK to give her fish. Veggielove is right; terminology is important. Using the wrong terminology causes confusion.
post #17 of 79
I think gaianbudo makes some valid points. It is extremely difficult to be a vegetarian in Asia, especially when you don't speak the language. Meat is in EVERYTHING over there. Heck, I had a hard time at a Korean restaurant here in Canada!



I understand your annoyance - that SUV driving urbanites who eat eggs and cheese are coming down hard on you for eating fish when you have little choice in the matter. Then there is the perception that the label is more important than the cause.



Just remember that nobody lives a perfect life, excepting of course the vegans here on veggieboards.
post #18 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaianbudo View Post

You are right also veggielove in that anyone striving to go further down the road is welcome and it is a very good thing. As far as your clearcut statement that lacto-ovos are vegetarians and pescotarians are not, and who cares about the morality, well this just reidifies my point, the term has become nothing more than a label. And if the morality doesn't matter, then what is the point.



Labels are important. I for one, am vegetarian for environmental reasons. My husband is 98% vegan, and he does it for animal rights reasons. The labels are important. I want to see something labeled "vegetarian" so I know what is right to eat for my diet, and what is not. I don't want shrimp or tuna put in my food. THe other day I requested a vegetarian sandwich option for a business meeting (one where I had no control over what was ordered) and was sent a tuna sandwich. Its people like YOU who confuse them. People who use the term vegetarian and eat fish. That is why you see hostility here. And yes, I'm sure it was factory farmed. I didn't eat it and it went to waste (i'm pregnant and would NEVER subject my baby to those types of toxins for any reason.)



I don't do this cause I care about the animals. To be honest I don't like animals all that much! And who the heck cares if I live in Boston, New York city, Los Angeles or in the blooming jungle. To your own admission, living away from the big cities has made it harder for you to stay vegan - implying that being less "connected with nature" has anything to do with the value of my diet, is a bit ridiculous. At least I live in the city where I take advantage of public transport, and dont' contribute to sprawl and destruction of more animal habitat. I don't drive an SUV to go to the grocery store - I go with my husband on the subway and the bus. The environment is my concern, and thats why the heck I don't tear it down to build it up to "human" standards of living. But again - this goes with the whole "I'm better than you" thing that pisses me off about the "morality" set. I'm not striving to reach buddha. I'm a vegetarian, I don't eat meat, and I don't care what you think of me. You can go live in wild grass fields and eat groundhogs for all I care, lol. I just won't put up with the "purity" set. Being judged is not my thing. I do what I can, when I can, when I want to. My life. Don't misuse labels that I am CORRECTLY using, so that I don't have to feed my baby potato chips and an apple for lunch ever, ever again. Thanks.



Labels are important, don't misuse them, you kill more animals that way. End of story. Since its clear to me that you still believe strongly that somehow you are gonna be better than me, no matter what I say to you, I'll leave you be to play with the others. Enjoy your time here, I hope you can soon bring your wife and child to a place where you can pursue your vegan lifestyle in a way fullfilling to you.
post #19 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaianbudo View Post

I do feel frustrated however, with the realization that so many people that now claim the vegetarian label are city dwelling urbanites who have hardly ever been in nature, have spent virtually no time among animals outside of the ones that came from a pet store, have learned pretty much everything they know about the issues from other peoples websites and care more about labels then actual animal suffering.



Who cares? Really. Why do you care?



I'm an urbanite who doesn't spend much time out in nature. I've never personally touched a live cow, pig, turkey, or chicken. But I chose to become a vegetarian to ease the suffering of animals I've never met, because I know it's the right thing to do. And even as a new vegetarian, I'm leaning towards vegan, having already given up buying cow milk and eggs, and intentionally lowering my intake of products made from them.



As long as I'm helping the cause, why do you care where I live and what exactly motivates me?



--Fromper

post #20 of 79
He doesn't care. He feels guilty because he's eating fish because he's living in a place where he doesn't have much choice, and he's lashing out at those who he deems are doing less than him because we don't "care" the way he does.



I think he's doing plenty for the animals. Too bad he seems he doesn't feel the same way about us evil city folk, or maybe I'm just wrong ;-) It wouldn't be the first time. Its hard to read people in cyberspace sometimes.
post #21 of 79
Thread Starter 
You don't care about the animals, you don't care what I think, and you will continue you to do what you want when you want to... well veggielove, I don't really care what you think too much either. Your last posting just convinced me to continue to use whatever label I want, maybe just for spite. So your business meeting veggie sandwich option wasn't right, I don't really care about that either. Try cooking and bringing something, or how about telling them what you want in your sandwich. By the way humans are animals too, even ones that live in the cities and take subways to business meetings. You think misuse of labels is killing the animals and destroying the environment that you want to watch on TV? Perhaps you should take another look at the corporate capitalism these business meetings are perpetuating, afterall it is the root cause of every last one of the issues that we have seen come up, overfishing, environmental destruction, factory farming, animal exploitation, along with just about every other problem destroying our planet. There are tens of thousands of people starving to death, I really don't care if you ever, ever have to eat potato chips and an apple at your business meeting again. But thanks for solidifying my conviction.
post #22 of 79
Not that I care what you think, but have you never been invited to a meeting you didn't know you were going to attend, and unable to leave for lunch? Probably not. But anyway....



If spite is what leads your convictions, then you deserve the "ignore" button as much as I think you do. "Ignore".
post #23 of 79
Vegetarian (as a general term): someone who doesn't eat the flesh of animals. That excludes fish from a vegetarian diet.



It's good if you don't eat dairy or eggs or other meat besides fish and are concerned about the food choices. I hope you'll go vegan, I think you have the compassion in you that is needed for taking that step.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

Reply

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

Reply
post #24 of 79
I think part of the frustration comes from lacto-ovo vegetarians taking their form of vegetarianism and making it synonymous with "vegetarian".



Perhaps it's just how the word has evolved and changed over time.



So what makes one a vegetarian?



Are we all vegetarians and lacto/ovo/pesc/vegan being various forms of that vegetarianism? or is lacto-ovo vegetarianism a synonymous term for vegetarian? And vegans are their own entity, and pescatarians their own entity?





Whats a "vegetarian"?
post #25 of 79
I understand that you eat fish. I even understand people who say they dont look at fish as animals.

Welcome to veggieboards!
post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pescas View Post

I even understand people who say they dont look at fish as animals.

What do they look at them as then? Weird sea plants that have eyes?

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

Reply

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

Reply
post #27 of 79
Fishing is evil.



This website (which is actually a Christian one, but I have nothing against Christians when they tell the truth) gives a small idea of how evil it is:



http://www.thenazareneway.com/vegetarian/fishing.htm



The fish industry is a damn HOLOCAUST.



As to never hearing of farmed fish and the absolutely appalling conditions in which they are raised.. well, the OP needs to do some researching.



ANIMALS ARE NOT PROPERTY AND WE HAVE TO STOP KILLING THEM.



Meat is murder. And so is fish. (And eggs and milk of course, but that is for another thread.)
post #28 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

What do they look at them as then? Weird sea plants that have eyes?



LOL. Other options include the protzoa sp? family or the fungi family.
post #29 of 79
I'd like to make it clear that you can buy several types of beans, tofu, vegetables, fruits, sesame seeds, peanuts and rice in Asia. These are common foods in Asia so it's not hard to be vegetarian. Perhaps, it's difficult for some people to find what they need because they don't know the local language. And if you don't have cooking facilities your choices would be limited. I imagine that an Asian vegetarian that spends time in North America might have the same problems and feel that it's hard to be vegetarian in North America.
post #30 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

What do they look at them as then? Weird sea plants that have eyes?





rofl. That made me laugh more than it should have.
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