A Pescetarianist in the House

“I think I’m going to go back to being a vegetarian,” Tara mentioned to me one afternoon. “I’m looking to eat a bit healthier.”

I knew this day was coming. When I had first met Tara, she was a practicing vegetarian. Clearly she didn’t practice enough, for when I started making Chicken Piccata, Saltimbocca, and Scaloppine di Vitello, she was right there, waiting to try some. Her sense of adventure always seemed to trump whatever moral and health arguments that could be made.

“I’m not going to be all evangelical about it though. I’m looking to lessen my meat intake, but not cut it out completely. And seafood will always be an option,” she added.

“The word you’re looking for is pescetarian,” I said.

“Peska-whose-it-what-now?”

“Pescetarian. One whose diet includes fish but no meat,” I added.

“But fish are meat,” Tara rightfully pointed out.

I shrugged. “I didn’t come up with the term.”

I’ve always thought that the term ‘Pescetarian’ seemed religious to me. You have your Protestants, Methodists, Pescetarianists. But I never really gave it much more thought than that.

Upon reflection, the term is a little self-congratulatory (as is ‘vegan’, but I’ll let that slide for the sake of today’s post). It’s as if one can claim the ethical high-ground of vegetarians, but without having to do all of the hard work. The term is a label that allows one to claim to all the world their eating preference, without answering any moral quandaries.

Which is a bit unfair to the rest of us. We all make conscious decisions surrounding are food choices, even if our choice is to not give a damn. As a person who prefers to seek out the best tasting food experiences within my resources, my question is this – Where’s my label? After all, I’ve answered the difficult ethical food questions. I’ve pondered the long term effects of my purchases. Shouldn’t someone like me get a title akin to “locavore” or “vegetarian”. How about “taste-tatarian” or “food snob”?

Luckily for me, my partner isn’t hung up on labels. “I’ll eat meat when I feel like it. This isn’t an ethical choice. This is one made from health and preference.” Which is what most people do.

So – how am I taking to this new lifestyle choice? Here’s a few snippets of our lives in the past two weeks.

Day One

Me (after coming home late): Wanna go to the pub and grab a burger?

Tara: Um. I’m trying to eat more vegetables.

Me: Oh, right. I forgot. (I really did).

Day Eight

Tara (calling from the kitchen) : I’m going to make some tacos with chorizo. Interested?

Me: Sure!

Tara: It’s vegetarian Chorizo.

Me: Nnnnnnooooooooooo!!!

Day Fourteen

Me: It’s your birthday tomorrow. Do you want to go out to eat?

Tara: Sure!

Me: How about that fish and chip place off of Beach Drive? The place that has the fried clams we like?

Tara: Sounds great.

So, I’m learning to eat more seafood. And she’s willing to indulge in deep fried fish. Life’s all about compromises.

(Note: Pesectarianist is a made-up word. I know this. There’s no need to point this out to me.)