Vegan vs Vegetarian, what does it all mean? And what in the world is a Pescatarian?
There is much talk about diet lately. A lot of it focuses on thing that are irrelevant, like gluten. Here is a tip, if you don’t have celiac disease, you don’t need to worry about gluten. But there are a lot of other things that people hear about & do it because it is trendy, like low carbs. I was standing in a line at Charlies Chicken once (I’m not making this up) & the woman behind me told her boyfriend “I’m doing low carbs, so I’m just going to get mashed potatoes, mac & cheese and a roll”. She seriously didn’t have a clue what carbs were or why she didn’t need them.
Now what, you may ask is the difference between the different types of diets? I’ll explain it to you.
These are people who do not eat meat. If you eat fish & call yourself a vegetarian, you are stupid. Vegetarians do not eat ANY meat; this includes, beef, chicken, pork, fish, clams, wombats & the like. I was a vegetarian for about two years but gave it up for some really good ribs. The typical vegetarian lives this lifestyle for health reasons, it really is a healthier alternative to a carnivorous diet. Things they might eat are vegetables (duh), fruits, nuts, cheese, eggs (sometimes not) & bread.
There are some other valid reasons to choose a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, the main one being the whole animals being killed problem. There is also sufficient evidence to show that it is much better on the environment & the planet to grow fruits/vegetables than to raise animals for slaughter.
Vegans are a special breed of people, the kind who drive a Prius to “save the planet”, even though it is not really helping much at all. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate veganism, I just hate the snooty vegans who think they are superior to everyone else.
People get this one confused for vegetarian a lot, but here is the low down. Vegans do not eat anything that comes from an animal; this includes milk, cheese, eggs, honey & even Jell-O (look up gelatin). Vegans are sometimes doing this not for health reasons, they are doing it because “milk is murder”. Hey vegans, they don’t have to kill the cow to get the milk, but whatever. Vegans also don’t wear or utilize any clothing or other items made from animals.
But not all vegans do it to be hip. I suspect that most of them are doing it for ethical reasons & that is a commendable act. Even if we do not kill cows to get their milk, we are still subjecting the animals to a very hard life just to satisfy our needs. If you think about it, there is something fundamentally wrong with drinking the (babies) milk from another species.
A pescatarian uses the vegetarian diet, with the addition of fish & other seafoods. This, due to how much I love shrimp, would be the closest to a vegetarian diet I could realistically handle. I know there are sometimes certain problems with seafood, like mercury in fish. There are also environmental & ethical reasons. But those problems also exist in fruits & vegetables. Pesticides, over-farming, unfair practices with seeds & the list goes on.
Table of common diets
So, what to eat?
So, the ones we know are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian. There are a lot of others that I am not going to get into here, like pollotarianism, lacto-vegetarianism, ovo-vegetarianism and lacto-ovo vegetarianism. If you want to learn more about them, check out the wiki articles I have linked.
I believe a diet is a personal thing & you should do what you feel is right for you.
What is my reason for this change?
I was cleaning up dishes the other night & I came to my cast iron skillet from the night before. I had cooked sausages for dinner & the pan was full of the nastiest greasy crap ever. I cleaned it out with a spatula & some paper towels and then washed & seasoned the pan as usual.
As I thought about that nasty mess in my pan, I also thought about what it was leaving behind on my insides. I started thinking about what my future with food is going to be. As I write this, I am almost 56 years old & have not lived a terribly healthy life. I recently gave up diet soda & that was fairly easy, so giving up meat should be no problem. 🤨
I am quitting pork for sure and most likely all red meat. I am still going to eat fish for my protein.Maybe chicken as well.
If you want to live healthier, remember this: everything in moderation. Cutting out meat is not really that hard to do but remember to get your protein. You can get a lot from nuts or peanut butter (yum). If you don’t want to cut out meat completely, as I am doing, you can at least quit eating pork & red meat. Then, cut WAY back on sugar & salt. Also, start eating leaner, low-fat foods.
But, if anyone tells you it is unhealthy not to include meat in your diet, just remind them of what happened in the 90’s.
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