In other words, a pescatarian is a person who eats fish, but doesn’t eat steak, chicken, pork or any other kind of meat — only fish and seafood.
That’s not all they eat, however; pescatarians also eat mainly vegetarian foods such as tofu, beans, vegetables, fruits, dairy and grains. So a pescatarian diet is a diet that includes fish but not steak, chicken, pork or any other kind of meat.
Reasons to Go Pescatarian
The other common reason to go adopt a pescatarian diet is to build up to a completely vegetarian diet.
Other reasons for adopting a pescatarian way of eating include many of the same issues that motivate people to go vegetarian or vegan: a reduced environmental footprint, and animal cruelty concerns. And some people follow a pescatarian diet for religious reasons.
Pescatarians often believe that moderate consumption of fish or fish oils, which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, is necessary for optimum health, although vegetarian alternatives, such as flaxseed oil and hemp foods are available.
Worried about getting enough protein on a vegetarian diet? Don’t be! There are plenty of ways to maintain a protein-rich diet without consuming meat or fish.
Are Pescatarians Considered Vegetarian?
No. A pescatarian is not a vegetarian or even a type of a vegetarian. There is much confusion over what a vegetarian is and isn’t, but no definition of the term ever includes fish or seafood.
To be 100 percent clear, a vegetarian diet excludes all animals; and fish are animals. Therefore, a diet that includes fish, or a person who consumes fish cannot be properly called a vegetarian. A pescatarian is not a vegetarian, and a vegetarian diet does not include fish.
Are Pescatarians the Same as Semi-Vegetarians or Flexitarians?
Not really, but sort of. A “semi-vegetarian” -or a “flexitarian” is someone who eats a mostly vegetarian diet, occasionally supplemented by meat, though there’s no real agreed-upon definition of how often one can eat meat and still call themselves a semi-vegetarian or a flexitarian.
Pescatarians are not restricted to “occasional” fish and may eat fish as little or as frequently as they prefer.
Myths About Myths About Vegetarianism
I’ve been a strict vegetarian for more than 20 years. Before that, I was a half-assed vegetarian for at least 20 more. In all that time, I’ve frequently researched nutrition, and experimented with and reevaluated my diet. And I’ve always been happy to discuss the matter with people who express an interest, either because they’re vegetarians themselves or because they’re just curious. But there are two things I have not done: I have not criticized anyone else’s diet, and I have never tried to recruit anyone to the “cause”. Not once. I’m annoyed by proselytizers myself, and I know many other people are too.
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What Is Veganism?
What Makes Someone a Vegan, and What Do They Eat, Exactly?
Vegan refers to either a person who follows this way of eating or to the diet itself. That is, the word vegan can be an adjective used to describe a food item, as in, “This curry is vegan“, or, it can be used as a noun, as in, “Vegans like cookies, too.”
Although there is some debate as to whether certain foods, such as honey, fit into a vegan diet, if you are cooking for other vegans, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid these foods. Most vegans extend the definition of veganism to go beyond just food and will also avoid the use of all personal and household products tested on animals, and avoid purchasing and using all animal-derived, non-food products, such as leather, fur, and wool. There is some debate as to whether second-hand animal products, such as a leather jacket from a thrift store, can be included in a cruelty-free vegan lifestyle or not.
What Do Vegans Eat?
This is perhaps the most common question about veganism. A vegan diet includes all grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits, and the nearly infinite number of foods made by combining them.
How Can I Become Vegan?
Some people easily go from eating meat to vegan right away, while others struggle with their new commitment, or choose to go vegetarian first and then slowly omit eggs and dairy. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but you may want to learn about what’s worked for other people. However you do it, keep your goals in mind and remember why you are choosing to adopt a vegan diet.