I'm pescatarian

It’s been 3 years now since I haven’t eaten meat. On this post I’ll explain my experience in order to make you think of this subject and even inspire you.
Picture by Xin Photography

I’ve always been an animal lover. I have no childhood memories killing bugs or even flies - until today I either ignore them or get them and leave them by the window. On the other hand, I remember being a baby and trying to hug any farm animal I would see in the country side when being on vacation, and crying because my mum wouldn’t allow me to hold snakes and big birds. This might be the reason why, when I was 16 and decided not to eat animals anymore, my significants weren’t surprised at all. 
The very main reason why I stopped consuming meat was because the last months before being vegetarian, I started noticing the smell of meat. I know it sounds weird, but every time I had some meet on my fork and I was about to put it in my mouth, I would smell it and remember the dead animal. If my mum would cook meat or fish for dinner or lunch, which I usually would have loved, I would start being turned off by it. 
Plus, by that time I was taking philosophy lessons on high school. There are several ancient greek scholarships, such as the Platonic scholarship, that made the scholars refuse to eat anything but roots - of course they had solid ideals behind this determination. I wouldn’t be so extreme, but studying their thoughts and ideals encouraged me to prove and reassure my own thinking and not to be scared of what people around me may think about my choices.
Plus, by that time I read an article in the Huffington Post, where they mentioned that humans are not natural born as carnivores. They justify this statement by the fact that we weren’t born with claws or big teeth - as other predators - to attack. All the meat the humans consume is cooked or seasoned, in order to make it taste good for us to eat. We can eat any other food without cooking it - including fish. That made total sense to me and reassured my thoughts. I've always thought that I would never be capable of killing an animal. I don't feel like humans are more important than other species that live on earth with us. In fact, I think that we've destroyed their habitat and reduced their freedom making them live around our customised world, surrounded by fences. I don't feel like after subduing their existence we should kill them too. 
I always say that if I was in a desert island and the only way to survive was to kill an innocent animal, I would rather die. As soon as I am conscious, my mind and principles wouldn't allow me to do so. If I was in that point where my use of mind is affected, my cortex wouldn't be working and my limbic system would take its task. My acts would be controlled by animal instincts, so my inner thinking wouldn't matter anymore. But according the article of the Huffington Post, humans don't naturally eat meat. According to that, my instincts would never make me kill an animal.

The time passed by and I noticed that the only animal I was eating was just plain grilled chicken breasts. I guess that chicken is less tasty and not so obvious as a piece of red flesh. And literally, I ended up eating chicken once or twice a week.
The day i reported this last rate, I decided to not eat meat or fish anymore. I went to an organic vegetarian friendly restaurant that was on the way from high school to home and I bought myself a tomato, mozzarella and pesto sandwich, in order to celebrate with me and myself my decision - don't ask me why, but that's exactly what I was thinking when I was ordering it. You just cannot imagine how happy I was while eating that panini. I had just made one of my first long term decisions that would affect on my lifestyle for a while. 
As soon as I arrived home I told my family and they were totally fine with it because they saw I was very determinate and sure in all my points. Basically, I would refuse eating meat as a result of all my inner thinking already explained and as a silent protest against the inhumane food industry, which there’s no need for me to explain you about (I’m sure you’ve all seen videos on Facebook and so on).

The only thing my mum commanded me was to visit periodically the endocrinologist, because we all know that it’s slightly easier to have vitamin and other kind of deficiencies when being vegetarian. 

A question lots of friends ask me is if I felt any different when cutting meat and fish out of my diet; the answer is yes. In the gym, I noticed that the amount of weight I could pick up to do my exercises would be reduced. That’s the only difference I noticed.

At first, I was so scrupulous when planning my meals. I was always thinking and writing down what to eat in order to have a balanced diet. I also did a lot of research and learned a lot online. 
Some months later I wouldn’t plan my weekly meals so much, but I was already used to eat varied products, so this lack of planning didn't affect me and my blood analytics were still correct. 

After one year being vegetarian, I started university and many other projects - modelling, my band, being a hostess… - and I started feeling very tired on my day by day. I tried to supplement my diet with vitamins and so on, but my mood didn’t get better at all. My I visited my doctor, and he told me that my blood test was perfect. Considering my active lifestyle, he encouraged me to eat fish at least during very active periods (final exams, congress weeks…) and maybe once every one or two weeks. Refusing to all my thoughts and principles, i started to do so, and I got better.

After studying molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry at university I’ve learned that it’s much easier to find some molecules that vital metabolic pathways require in a small flesh piece rather than in vegetable proteins. If you have a very active lifestyle as I do, it’s easier and better for you to eat a little piece of fish once a week rather than caring of the veggie protein equivalent, which might be a huge amount of different products - tempeh, tofu, legumes, cereals, seeds…  
Apart from those vital molecules, fish contains polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids which is connected to any heart and mental diseases. Plus, this element can help in the treatment of other illnesses. I’m not saying that fish is the only food that contains those molecules, but indeed, fish contains far more quantity than veggies. 
It is proven that pescatarians have lower risk to develop iron insufficiency anemia due to the high concentration of this element, which is a common insufficiency among vegans a vegetarians. 
Every time eat fish though, I feel kinda bad an I respect and venerate the animal I’m about to eat. If not so, I always eat vegetarian and vegan food. Of course there are some fish farms that are extremely inhumane. That’s why you should always go for fresh ecologic fish - here in Barcelona you can easily find it at Veritas stores. I try to consume only organic fish, that’s why I would only eat pescatarian dishes at home (so that I know exactly what they contain), or in restaurants with organic guarantees.

People ask me what’s the main difficulty of not consuming meat. To me, the main problem is living with non-vegetarians or pescatarians. My parents still consume meat and my sister is an absolute meat lover. Of course, they’ve accepted my choice of not eating as them and they respect my ideals, but they still cook it. Smelling their dishes it’s disgusting to me, and sometimes I may feel out of my place by sitting on the same table as them while eating a different menu. All in all, I’m so proud of them because since I’ve turned off meat, they only buy ecologic animal products because they’ve started being aware of the animal cruelty in the food industry.

During this years I’ve learned that there's a great amount of products that contain little quantities of animal products (enzymes from cow’s stomachs, gelatines…), such as cheese, sweets or even chocolate. At home it's not difficult to control those products but it’s very difficult to control what you eat at restaurants. Here’s the reason why in my Foodie section of the blog I always make clear if the restaurants are vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian friendly.

I’m so happy with my lifestyle now, my blood tests are perfect and I feel healthy and vital. I miss no meat at all! If you’re in the mood, I would recommend you not to stop eating meat all of a sudden. Maybe it’s better for you to start having meat-off days, trying to cook some vegetarian recipes - maybe from my blog? hehehehe spam spam spam… 

Thanks for your time! And leave a comment of what you think of this subject, I’d love to know your opinion! 

Love, Lena.



sf said...

Nice to hear about your incredible journey. :)

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