What Is a Pescatarian and What Do They Eat?

In the modern day, most of us live with an abundance of food such that starvation is never a problem. According to data from the Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations, the majority of people who suffer from a lack of food are generally centralized in developing countries. Therefore, it is more likely that you live in a country where you are spoilt for choice when it comes to food.

Many of us have already chosen to make specific changes in our diets for reasons like religion and health. Some of these specialized diets would include Veganism where we abstain entirely from animal products or Vegetarianism where we don’t eat meat or fish.

However, one lesser-known diet would be being Pescatarian.

What is a Pescatarian?

Simply put, a pescatarian is someone who does not consume meat but does consume fish.

Pescatarian is a mix of the Italian word for fish, “pesce,” with the word “vegetarian,” created in the early 1990s. It’s also spelt “pescetarian,” but the meaning is the same. A pescatarian, under that definition, is someone who eats a vegetarian diet but also consumes fish and other seafood.

What do Pescatarians eat?

Whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruit, and healthy fats make up the majority of the diet, with fish serving as the primary protein source. Contrary to popular belief, fish is actually high in protein with many benefits over meat like being low in fat and being packed with nutrients and vitamins which improve your health.

Why some people choose to be Pescatarians?

Some people choose to be Pescatarians for 3 main reasons.

The first reason is its health benefits. As previously mentioned, Fish serves as a viable alternative to meat due to its high protein content and abundance of nutrients and vitamins that can help reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

In addition, by cutting out meat, you run a lower chance of being afflicted by obesity as research has shown that by shifting your diet closer to plant-based diet you would gain lesser weight than if you had consumed meat regularly. By choosing to be Pescatarian you would reap some of these benefits without completely becoming a Vegetarian.

The second reason would be the environmental concerns of eating meat.

When land is utilized to raise livestock rather than crops, valuable water and soil is wasted while trees are felled to create room for grazing or factory-farm sheds. In addition, untreated animal excrement pollutes rivers and streams. 

Animal husbandry emits more greenhouse emissions globally than all of the world’s 

transportation combined.

The final reason would be the ethical concerns of eating meat.

By eating meat, you would effectively be consenting to the inhumane and commercial slaughter of livestock for food. Many farms often raise their livestock in cruel and inhumane conditions to cut costs. Eating meat drives its demand, causing farms to raise more animals inhumanely so as to meet said demand.

That said, some of these problems are not just limited to the consumption of meat. Problems like overfishing and aquaculture can also be caused from an over-reliance on fish.

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