Breaking News: If you eat Fish, you aren’t Vegetarian.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Mar 20, 2010
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Pescetarian? Fish are Animals, Too.

From the Shouldn’t Have to Say it Department:

Every so often, I go out to some restaurant and they start telling me the specials and, by way of saving us all some time, I offer that “I’m vegetarian.” Almost invariably, the waiter asks,

“Do you eat fish.”

“No,” I say. “I’m vegetarian.”

“Some vegetarians eat fish,” the waiter helpfully points out.

Look: eat your mercury-laden “healthy” fish if you want to, folks, and if you do use the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s free iPhone app or printable guide to what kinds of fish aren’t so overfished that, in eating said fish you won’t be depriving your own grandchildren of ever getting to eat said fish.

But don’t call yourself vegetarian if, for pleasure, you kill and eat sentient beings.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


59 Responses to “Breaking News: If you eat Fish, you aren’t Vegetarian.”

  1. aspenshanti says:

    Poor waiter. No need to be so harsh on him. Its just a matter of education. There are so many variations on diet that strange as it may seem, some people don't really understand the meaning of the term "vegetarian". Please save your self righteous indignation and use your energy to gently begin to educate people. You can attract more bees with honey than vinegar.

  2. mamabear234 says:

    I'm vegan except for bacon. (I'm joking.)

  3. mamabear234 says:

    But the Dalai Lama eats meat. Never thought Buddhists took vows to be vegetarian as I know several Buddhists that eat meat and fish. Is it just your personal interpretation of ahimsa?

  4. Heather says:

    I have been trying to switch my diet and my children’s diet .. Since I am still just starting we are still eating meats and unhealthy things but its a process, I look forward to a day where my family eats consciously not nessisarily vegan or vegitarian but responsibly … For our peace of mind .. Whatever that means for us !

  5. Mandy says:


  6. karlsaliter says:

    Alyssa, have you looked up the word? Didn't think so.
    veg·e·tar·i·an [vej-i-tair-ee-uhn]
    a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.

    Your indignation is based on a made-up premise that this definition is wrong because you don't like it. That is whiney snobbery on wheels, girl.

  7. Amber says:

    That's why you say you're a pescatarian. Took me a while to figure out what to call myself because I still eat fish and seafood so now it's a lot easier for me to tell people, I'm not a vegetarian, I'm a pescatarian=)

  8. Yes, and if you drown in the ocean the fish and crab would find you quite tasty.

  9. Moira says:

    I'm teetotal. Well, except for whisky…