Farmed vs. Wild vs. Vegetarian
I had a really interesting conversation with a close vegetarian friend last night about how I deal with an internal battle with the eating of fish. He was remarkably open to the ideas I had about farmed vs. wild and eating humanely, and seemed to understand where I am struggling. I really enjoy supportive conversations like the one we had. True vegetarians tend to get defensive around pescetarians. However, I look at all of us as existing on a sliding scale in the efforts to reduce environmental impact and stop cruelty. The reality is that I eat fish at most once a week, and the vast majority of the world consumes pounds and pounds of meat and fish. It is not a race to be the most perfect consumer, and I appreciate camaraderie along the way.
The ideas from the last book that I read, The Face on Your Plate, has me thinking more and more about what I eat and where it is coming from. It emphasized the negatives of farmed fish, especially the antibiotics dumped into the water, fish cages, sea lice, pollution, brutal deaths, and the poor quality of the fish. In contrast wild salmon are fished in a remarkably different way. Using the life pattern of salmon, who are born in a stream then leave their home only to return to lay eggs and die, wild fisheries strategically lay the eggs and wait for the salmon to return. In this regard, the salmon live a long life and are fished when they are going to die. For some reason, this sits with me much better then fish farming. However, the more I think about, the more likely I am to transition out of eating fish. For now, I will stick to the wild salmon, but start to build up an arsenal of vegetarian recipes to ease my transition.
Switching back to a full-time vegetarian opens a floodgate of issues. Am I prepared to work really hard to keep my protein and iron up, as anemia has plagued me my entire life? How do I consider AAM’S feelings when I change the household (he is flexible- but this does affect him)? Do I raise Serafina vegetarian? Am I ready for the backlash on the decision to have no fish in the house? Do I change my blog: the name and the content? I also worry about how my diet, and raising my daughter vegetarian, might negatively affect my relationships with family and friends. These may seem to be trivial considerations, but they become very real matters. I hate being a dietary pain, and I particularly don’t like having to answer to everyone about my dietary choices. I am trying to vote with my plate, but not make a dictatorship out of eating. For now, I will eat wild salmon, and give myself time to decide.
For those who were raised vegetarian or are raising your child vegetarian, do you have anything you would like to share about your experience? Please comment below if you have ideas.