1. The rising concerns about non-labeling of what was in meat got us worried about cross contamination. For example, do you remember all of the meat glue news articles? In the USA you don't have to label whether meat glue, which could contain gluten by products, was present in meat.
2. In general, you just can't be sure for the same above labeling reasons WHAT is actually in your meat. Is it by products from 'higher' end processing just put together, is it a dirty part of the animal not labeled as such?
3. Fish on the other hand appears to be processed in less of a filthy way, and it is less likely to have circumstances when you don't know if the fish you are eating is actually what you think you are eating (although there were recent cases in NYC of being given cheaper fish than requested as sushi restaurants).
4. Working in the Autism field I have been familiar with Temple Grandin's work to make meat farms and factors for animal rights sound. Unfortunately, we aren't living up to the standards we tout and the technology she helped develop in this field. It sickens me to see the conditions in which farm animals are bred, treated, and killed for meat. I know fish are also bred and killed in farms in many cases but these conditions seem to be a lot better off than for land animals.
5. I was having issues with cholesterol and salt intake, and the doctor recommended that because of my diet I eat less meat since this was mainly what I added salt to.
With the above in mind we embarked on our Pecatarian, with Mike being more of a Flexitarian (occasionally (5 times during the year) eating meat, journey. While it is just now beginning to get a bit tedious and I am craving meat more, it have been a thought provoking and healthy experience. I have become more lean in figure and appearance, seem to have gained muscle and have lost about 15 pounds, I feel less full and exhausted after I eat, and I seem to have a lot more energy. It also has helped increased my HDL and reduce my LDL, an added benefit of fish consumption over going entirely vegetarian.
It has also allowed me to play around more with recipes, and seafood in general. Before this, my meals were always the typical meat, starch, and vegetable. While this is standard, it isn't necessarily the most holistic approach to nurturing your body. I have no become creative with my meals, and more open to experimenting since eliminating meat. In addition, I had always had an aversion to seafood because it was never eaten in my family, but now I love it! It isn't the staple of every meal we eat, but we like having fun when we add it.
The only down side to this adventure? I appear to now have low Iron, which for me was always an issue. I am still working on fixing this issue and it isn't TOO low but I've been bruising easier and haven't been allowed to donate blood the past two times I attempted. It's a easy fix though, if only I could remember to take my iron pills or eat more iron rich vegetables! Hopefully the post wedding lull will make make this easier!
So there you have it, our reasons, seen benefits, and experienced cons of going Pescatarian. Have you had any experiences yourself?
While this is right for us now, Mike and I do agree that it might not be a life long change or something we will stick to 100%. For example, if we were to move someplace where local meats were an option, and where we knew the animals were well treated and valued by their care takers we might take it up again. Or, if we had the opportunity to try some rare meats on our traveling adventures we might have a taste. But for now it works, and boy oh boy was it well worth it to experience eating fish on the marina in Cabo San Lucas during our Honeymoon that had been caught hours before in the sea we over looked! What a great experience for us to have, and what wonderful food!