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Pescetarian? Vegetarian? Vegan?

Tobias and I are meeting tomorrow with the couple who organise another Berlin supper club: Fisk & Gröönsaken. (For the English speakers and Germans who are not familiar with north German dialect, that means Fish & Vegetables, apparently.)

 

In our correspondance, the Fisk & Gröönsaken couple have described themselves (with perfect accuracy) as pescetarians. This made me start thinking about the definitions of such diets, as, in my experience, it is actually quite rare for people to describe themselves properly. It is probably petty and smallminded, but it irritates the hell out of me when people say things like "I'm a vegetarian, but I eat fish".

 

So, in praise of Fisk & Gröönsaken's accuracy, and for the purposes of venting my general frustration on this matter, here are my definitions, and the ones I will be assuming apply if you describe yourself as vegetarian, vegan and so on. Feel free to disagree with me, though I will probably be scornfully dismissive of your opinions.

 

 

No red meat

 

It is not correct to call yourself a vegetarian if you eat poultry and seafood. "No red meat" is the correct description. I concede there is some legitimate dispute over whether or not pork counts as red meat.

 

Pescetarian

 

Again, not a vegetarian. Describes someone who eats everything except for land-dwelling animals - i.e. when it comes to animals, only fish and shellfish are acceptable. I presume (although would welcome clarification on this matter) that aquatic mammals are also forbidden?

 

Vegetarian

 

Does not eat any animal flesh, whether beast, bird, insect, fish or shellfish. Any products derived from animal flesh or bones are also proscribed (e.g. - gelatin). Some vegetarians feel life is too short to go scouring the contents of every product they purchase for traces of animal product; an attitude which is not strictly vegetarian, but with which I have some sympathy.

 

Vegan

 

As vegetarian, but prohibition also extends to any animal product. This means that all dairy products are out, also eggs, and many (although not all) vegans also avoid honey.

 

Fruitarian

 

Fortunately, I have never had to cook for a fruitarian. This diet is hard work. Fruitarians eat only botanical fruits: that is, what naturally falls from a plant and can be harvested/eaten without damage to the plant itself. In addition to the limitations of veganism, fruitarians also reject the leaves, roots or stems of plants.

Posted by Caroline on 16 August 2010 | 2 Comments

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  • pork is definitely red meat (or is it)...

    keep up the good work caro....

    looks like the club is booked out, so i'll make-do with a tinned all day breakfast from heinz for the time being... the sausages are unspeakable, but the beans are pretty authentic...

    see you christmas, and good luck with the project xxxx

    Posted by gregs, 06/11/2012 12:36am (4 years ago)

  • THANK YOU, for clearing that up!
    I'm a vegetarian and I get irritated when people say 'I'm a vegetarian, but I eat fish and chicken... Oh, And Bacon! I couldn't live without bacon! Pork is white meat right?'
    I really just can't hear that without needing to roll my eyes or shaking my head!

    Thank you again.

    Posted by Amy, 09/10/2011 10:29am (5 years ago)

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