I've been pescatarian for about a month and I'm hoping to move onto complete vegetarianism soon. People keep telling me what I'm doing is pointless because I'm not vegan which makes me angry because I'm making little changes gradually to help ease me into it/learn how to cook more meat free meals? I'm trying vegetarianism for a year hopefully to move onto veganism, do you have any tips on staying healthy/websites with meal ideas (or just stuff you've learned from personal experience?) thanks!
What you are doing is definitely not pointless, as I always say, every little choice you make regarding food adds up to a greater whole and makes a difference. You affect positive change every single time you choose not to eat other meat, and I truly believe pescetarianism is better than nothing. It will help you transition into vegetarianism and let go of other animal products, it’s exactly what I did in 2014 and was a massive help in me cutting my red meat and poultry addiction.
The problem I have with pescetarianism is the mindset behind it when it’s seen as a permanent solution (as opposed to a stepping stone towards vegetarianism or veganism) because a lot of people think it’s morally viable to eat marine animals just because they are different to and sometimes less intelligent than mammals. Some scientists have claimed that fish do not feel pain, others have claimed they do feel pain but perceive it differently to us and others have claimed they feel pain as vividly as we do. It’s hard to reach a definite conclusion with so much conflicting ‘evidence’ but my view on it is that they MIGHT feel pain and suffering so WHY would I take that chance? It’s also been claimed that fish are far more intelligent than we think (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) (x) I think the belief system behind only eating fish and not other animals is messed up because it’s saying it’s okay to harm and exploit something just because it’s not like us.
Other reasons eating seafood is bad:
A team of scientists predict that due to overfishing, the oceans will be empty of seafood stock by as early as 2048-2050, destroying every single ecosystem in the seas with it.
A new study finds that the world’s seabird populations have plummeted by almost 70% in just 60 years, due to a combination of pollution damage and starvation due to human overfishing.
Modern industrial fishing lines can be as long as 75 miles and they sweep up everything in their paths, - over 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die every year as a result of being caught in nets.
‘Non-target’ fish species are also caught and then thrown back into the ocean as bycatch, completely wasted. Bycatch makes up approximately a quarter of all marine animals caught. This isn’t just different species of fish, but also fur seals, albatrosses, turtles, etc. Tuna fisheries alone are responsible for a million shark deaths annually.
The oceans simply cannot repopulate at the rate we are fishing them. Aquaculture is not the answer either as fish farms are highly polluting and are a breeding ground for diseases, not to mention the hellish conditions for the animals. (This is not aimed at you or anyone else who is striving towards veganism, I’m just trying to educate those who see nothing wrong with eating fish.)
In terms of health tips, just make sure you’re getting protein in your daily diet so that your body thanks you and feels good - tofu/other soy products like soya mince & veggie burgers, beans, lentils, chickpeas/other pulses, nuts, peas - it’s super easy to include them in sauces/curry/chilli. If you eat an assortment of vegetables (especially dark green leaf veg) as part of a meal it’s pretty hard NOT to get the nourishment you need because they’re fabulous - but here’s a good and easy-to-read twitter thread with loads of nutrition info https://twitter.com/vegbby/status/673606849866932225 If you’re worried about supplements and getting extra vitamins then I’d recommend getting fortified plant milk (most brands include extra vitamins in but I usually go for Alpro) and then also fortified nutritional yeast/nooch is full of good stuff - you can mix it into sauces, curries, soups (etc) and it’s gets you everything you need!
If you want some healthy, easy, cheap vegan meal ideas to help inspire you here are some great links: protein-filled meals, easy one-pot dinners, $30 for a week, less than $5 a day, works out to $2 a day, BBC recipes, Jamie’s recipes, top desserts, more easy dinners - good luck!