Growing up, I have always been a vegetarian. My dad’s entire side of the family won’t even eat eggs, while my mom’s side of the family chomps down on chicken like you wouldn’t believe. However, after college, my mom realized the horrible way that chickens were treated for slaughter and subsequently converted to vegetarianism.
Now, growing up, my definition of being a vegetarian was basically to eat eggs, milk, gelatin, etc. as long as it was not meat. This didn’t include fish or poultry or any meat-based product (we had gelatin because it was in gummy vitamins and stuff like that).
However, in school, I would occasionally, scandalously, and secretly, indulge in chicken. Just once every few months, to liven up my palate. In all honestly, I think that I liked the popcorn-ness of popcorn chicken a bit too much.
At camps, I would eat as a vegetarian generally, but would sometimes be forced into eating meat just because I would still be hungry and there wouldn’t be that much else available. It didn’t help that people didn’t exactly explain what a hot dog was either.
In summary, I’ve been a bad vegetarian, and for the longest time, I referred to myself as a “flexitarian” because I didn’t really know what I was. I also loved experiencing new cultures and traditions, so if I was in a situation where I was trying a cuisine or culture that was completely new to me, I tried to step out of my comfort zone and try the traditionally-liked or famous foods as long as they wasn’t red meat (ex. dim sum). Keep in mind that these lapses of vegetarianism were few and far in between, and almost exclusively happened because I wanted to try something new and different.
Today, I have resolved myself to be… sushi-tarian.
Basically, I’m planning to be a typical lacto-ovo-vegetarian but eat sushi. I realized that I only really liked chicken when it’s like deep fried or at Chick-Fil-A (as in super unhealthy), so it’s probably better that I stop eating chicken anyways. I have never and will never try beef, so that’s not even an issue, and I’ve been scared out of eating lunch meats after five months of Nutrition classes.
So the only real “meat” that I’ll ever consider eating now is fish, specifically sushi. I’ve never really tried fish on its own. I’ve only tried it with rice and soy sauce and avocado, wrapped in a layer of seaweed. So maybe I’m trying to be “pescatarian” but I’m going to call it sushi-tarianism, because I won’t ever eat fish on its own.
In my head, sushi-tarianism is defined as such:
the consumption of a typical lacto-ovo vegeterian diet with occasional indulgence in sushi
Maybe this is slightly ridiculous, and I’m probably just trying to conform to cultural pressures to be vegetarian in some capacity, but I figure that’s alright. I like being a vegetarian, and I do think that what happens to animals raised for slaughter is absolutely horrible. Honestly, I would probably be a happy vegetarian at this point if I didn’t try sushi over the summer. But once you try it, you can’t go back.