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Being Pescetarian2018.11.01


Being Pescetarian

英会話イーオン日立校、スクールブログです。
11月です!木曜日から始まる、イコール、
Sarah's Blogで11月が始まります♪

Dear readers,
 
Merry November! Time flies when you’re having fun. Maybe soon it’ll be time to take out our kotatsus!
 
Today I’m going to talk about something which I often have to mention if I’m out at a restaurant. This is that I don’t eat meat. A lot of people might wonder why or when I stopped eating meat, so I’ll tell the story today!
 
My family has always eaten meat. I was brought up eating meat, and this continued until I moved out of my family home and started university. I thought moving out was a good opportunity to change my diet, since I was making my own food at that time and my choice wouldn’t be difficult for my family to cater for.
 
I became a vegetarian (no meat and no fish) because I couldn’t personally justify eating meat and I started to feel guilty. I didn’t need to eat meat to be healthy, as there are many nutritious alternatives like eggs and beans, and I loved animals and cared for the environment. Sometimes as a child I would visit local farms with my grandma in the countryside, just after the sheep had given birth to lambs. We played with the lambs and fed them milk, and they were so lovely! The thought that they would soon be killed for meat made me really upset. When I saw raw meat, instead of just seeing it as food, I saw it as animal flesh. Now that I don’t eat meat, I don’t feel any responsibility for the deaths of animals, which gives me more peace of mind.
 
I suppose my reason for becoming a vegetarian was similar to that of Buddhist monks who also follow vegetarian diets. The main goal of the Buddhist monks is to stop suffering, and that’s true for animals who suffer as well as humans. Moreover, Buddhism is about being united with the rest of the world, and respecting nature and other living creatures. I want to respect nature by not destroying it, and respect animals by not killing and eating them. So you can think of me like a Buddhist monk!
 
In the first few years, I found vegetarianism much easier than I expected! In the UK there are a lot of vegetarian choices at restaurants and cafes, and many of them are delicious. I found a lot of nice vegetarian recipes to cook for myself too. At others’ houses as a guest, I never expected vegetarian dishes, and just ate whatever I could. Usually it turned out okay! I never felt that a meal without meat or fish was lacking something, and I never went hungry at a dinner party.
 
However, coming to Japan was a bit of a problem for me! Because in Japan even if you can avoid meat, it’s extremely difficult to avoid fish due to dashi, which is in all kinds of foods (for example tamagoyaki, nasu, and miso soup). As a result, I decided to extend my diet to include fish, but not meat. This kind of diet has a special name in English: it’s called ‘pescetarian’ (fish but no meat). Once I became a pescetarian, Japan was a lot easier. There is always a fish choice at restaurants if not a vegetarian one, and I can eat many soups and other foods containing dashi.
 
To this day, I remain a pescetarian! Over the course of my life I’ve been a vegetarian for three years and a pescetarian for two. That’s five years of no meat! Although I eat fish now, I still regularly cook meals with no meat or fish and enjoy fully vegetarian dishes. In Japan I can make use of tofu too, which is more readily available than in the UK.
 
I know that in Japan, being a vegetarian or pescetarian by choice is extremely rare. However, in many European countries (especially the UK and Scandinavia) vegetarians are growing in number for all kinds of reasons, and in some countries like India vegetarianism is cultural. As the number of vegetarians grows, so too does the number of vegetarian restaurants and products. In Manchester there are now many vegetarian restaurants to choose from!
 
Of course, many members of my family and many of my friends still eat meat, so I’m not at all offended or bothered by others eating meat around me. I think that diets are a personal choice and I respect other people’s right to eat what they want. I will simply avoid the fried chicken at the izakaya.
 
I hope that this post clears a few things up for anyone wondering why I don’t eat meat and about vegetarian or pescetarian culture abroad! If you have any questions about this, please ask me and I’d be happy to discuss it!
 
Have a fabulous first week of November,
 
Sarah
 

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