Let Them Eat Fish

James Garside
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SashimiPhoto by Jesse Ballantyne on Unsplash

Taking the Pescetarian

I once tried to convince a vegetarian friend that it was ok to eat fish because “Fish don’t count.” Apparently that’s Pescetarianism or ‘being a cat’ as I like to call it.

In a Pescetarian diet you eat mostly fruit and vegetables, and no meat, only fish. You can continue to eat all kinds of grains, beans, nuts, and what have you, and also choose whether or not to eat animal products such as eggs and milk according to your preference.

Pescetarianism sounded like such an incredibly healthy diet and the ideal diet for someone to switch to who’d long been thinking about going vegetarian but couldn’t stand the thought of giving up their beloved sashimi. So I went Pescetarian for several years which proved to be a great success.

When left to my own devices I’m almost exclusively Pescetarian and I still consider it to be an ideal diet. Or at least it would be were it not for overfishing and mercury poisoning. We really screwed the pooch on that one.

These days I eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, tons of fish, and no meat. Only duck. And the occasional dead cow. Or, indeed, any other farmyard animal.

Maybe it’s old age creeping in but when I look at the world these days my heart grows weary at the thought of all the dead things that we keep stuffing into our mouths. Except for fish —of course—fish don’t count.

I’ve even caught myself asking, “How many animals were killed so that I could eat this?” of everything that I eat. Even, for example, with a sausage roll. It cut down on my sausage roll consumption to say the least.

It’s not that I’m moralistic about it — I just don’t think people should eat what they’re unwilling to kill for themselves. I’d happily gut a fish and cut off its head. Or stick a hook through its mouth. And have done many times. A cow, sheep, or pig — not so much.

People should at the very least go to a slaughterhouse once to watch it being done. See how the other half lives — then doesn’t.

I was alarmed to discover that some kids have grown up unaware that meat is actually dead animals. They just didn’t make the connection.

Schools should arrange tours of abattoirs. Instead of going to a farm to feed the animals, lets watch them being slaughtered so that they can be packaged up and fed to us. So that you make the connection between the living thing in the field and the hunk of meat on your plate.

Not for ethics, just for perspective. Not for the sake of the animals but for the sake of ourselves.

It would certainly give us a clearer view of the world. We’re all cattle being stuffed through the system for the benefit of meaningless mouths. Food for thought if nothing else.

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NCTJ-qualified British independent journalist, author and travel writer.

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