I’m a Vegetarian, but I Eat Chicken and Fish

I’m a Vegetarian, but I Eat Chicken and Fish

My first introduction to vegetarianism came when I was working downtown Atlanta at one of the state offices.  I attended a meeting along with another fellow and while waiting for the Marta Train, the fellow told me that he was a vegetarian.

At the time, I wasn’t a vegetarian.  I was curious about vegetarianism, but not too curious to become a vegetarian.  The young man told me that he was a vegetarian and that he only ate chicken and fish.  I didn’t question him about the chicken and fish, but I didn’t understand how he could claim to be a vegetarian, while still eating chicken and fish.

From then on, I always had a question in my mind about this fellow being a vegetarian.  I was confused about how this vegetarian stuff worked because I always thought that a vegetarian was a person who didn’t eat animal flesh, but maybe other things from animals like dairy and eggs.  I never understood how the young man could consider himself a vegetarian yet; he was still eating chicken and fish.

Have you ever heard someone voice loudly that they are a vegetarian, yet they are throwing down on some wings and fish?  Well, if you have, I want you to know that those people who are claiming they are vegetarians and still eating chicken and fish are not vegetarians.  Don’t get it twisted!

What is a Vegetarian?

When someone tells you they are a vegetarian this is what you should know about that person’s way of eating.

  • They eat mostly fruits and vegetables.
  • They may eat nuts and seeds
  • They may eat grains
  • They may or may not eat eggs
  • They may or may not eat dairy

These are foods that vegetarians do not eat:

  • Red meat
  • Game
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Crustacea
  • Shellfish

Some may also abstain from animal by-products of the slaughtered animal (rennet and gelatin).

Types of Vegetarians

  • Lacto-vegetarian is one who eats dairy products, but not eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarian is one who eats eggs, but not dairy products.
  • Ovo-lacto vegetarian is one who eats both eggs and dairy products.
  • Vegan is one who excludes all animal based products such as eggs, dairy and honey.

The next time someone tells you they are a vegetarian; you will know they probably fall into either of the categories listed above.  If someone tells you they are vegetarian and they are still eating chicken and fish, then you will know they are either a semi-vegetarian or a pescetarian (only eats fish and no meat).  They are not a true vegetarian.

According to the Vegetarian Society a person is not a vegetarian if they consume fish or birds, because these are animals.  If you have a friend or know someone who voices loudly they are vegetarian, but they are still throwing down on some chicken and fish, then you will know the real deal.

Recommended Reading:

Becoming Vegetarian (affiliate link)

Becoming Vegan (affiliate link)

Becoming Raw (affiliate link)

Source:  Wikipedia

Image:  Senor Codo

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

26 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Tanner J says:

    Hi,first thing first (hair-related)i’m on long-term transition to natural hair and most of my NG looks very similar to your texture. So i look forward to looking at your Youtube hair videos in the future.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ok,more importantly,i really want to try eating healthier and cut out meats and poultry to try to give vegetarian a shot. The only problem is,is that i like cheese,eggs,shrimp,fish and grilled boneless skinless chicken to completely give it up. I’m more for trying to eat healthier and cut out red meats rather than completely stop eating seafood,poultry,eggs and icecream.

    I’m highly allergic to the following: raw apples,raw pears,raw watermelon,raw plums,raw & cooked peas,raw peaches,raw peanuts/peanutbutter. I can still drink apple juice,eat applesauces and cooked apples and peeled peaches. I know it sounds weird,but i just simply can not eat them 🙁

    I don’t like drinking cow milk per se,but icecream and cheese are an exception i guess. I make my own homemade raw and toasted almond butter and also my own almond milk. So i guess they’re somewhat healthier.

    It’s going to be very hard for me to try to eat healthier. What would you suggest,i start out doing. I want to give vegetarian a shot,but something tells me that it’s a fail for me =/

    • Hi Tanner J,

      Congratulations on your transition! I have a channel that is hair related so you may want to check it out. I haven’t uploaded any videos lately, but you can get a better look at my hair on that channel too.

      First of all, if you’re going into this with the attitude that you will fail, then guess what? You will fail. Do know that it will not be easy, but you have to stick with your goal. Always keeping in mind why you want to transition to eating a vegetarian diet and you will succeed.

      There are ice cream and cheese alternatives that are not made from dairy that you can probably find in your local market, like a Kroger. Quite tasty too!

      Gradually eliminate those foods. I don’t encourage you to stop eating them all at once, just do it gradually. As you give up these foods, there are other alternatives that you can eat that will help you stick with your vegetarian plan.

      You must have a plan and know what direction you will take. Once you know that, then there’s no stopping you.

      Best wishes in all you do!

      Evelyn

  2. Jane says:

    I’m 100% vegan and my husband is a vegetarian who eats dairy. It gets a little annoying when someone says they are vegetarian and they only eat fish and/or chicken, what??? Fish and chicken are not plants! What’s more insane is when someone who is in the health/fitness/nutrition field say they are vegetarians eating fish and chicken.

  3. kelly says:

    Very true on all counts Evelyn! I have to tell you Evelyn, I am a vegan but I eat an egg a week to cover possible vitamin B12 deficiency. 🙂

  4. Kissie says:

    Great overview, Evelyn. I can use this information the next time I get “the” question.

    WHAT DO YOU EAT AS A VEGAN?

    I appreciate you helping to make my answer easier. It’s all here! 🙂

  5. Zengirl says:

    Evelyn,

    I have been vegetarian all my life, so I never understood when people asked me so you eat chicken or fish, no I do not consider that vegetarian in my opinion as they are not part of vegetarian diet.

    Preeti

  6. I’ve always been curious about these vegetarian meat eaters! Thanks for the descriptions. Just foudn your blog on StumbleUpon – we’ll be back!

  7. ElleX says:

    Great article, Evelyn!

    I used to say that I was a “pesca-vegetarian” because I didn’t each chicken, beef, pork, and turkey – only fish. Then I would say I was a “ovo-pesca vegetarian” because I ate eggs and fish. Now, I don’t label myself at all. I just eat as much raw, live food as possible. Why do I need to explain to anyone why I choose to eat or not eat something.

    • Hi ElleX,

      Thank you for stopping by. I also appreciate all of your support in my other endeavors. 🙂

      I’m with you, Elle! I use to say, I’m a raw vegan, but now, I do just like you. I feel you on not having to explain yourself. I don’t think it’s necessary either.

      Take care,

      Evelyn

  8. Patricia says:

    Hi Evelyn

    Yes I have heard people say that in the past but I don’t think they fooled anyone. We all know fish and chicken are living creatures! We can get soy icecream here in Oz.
    Patricia Perth Australia

  9. Clearly Composed says:

    Great explanation on terms that are often used quite loosely. I do think it would be hard not to raise a brow at a chicken eating vegetarian! I think I am a foodian…I like good food that is real food. *lol* That’s the only label I need for now. 🙂

    Nicely done, Evelyn. All the best to you.

  10. Henway says:

    Hehe, this is funny ’cause I have a friend who loves to tell ppl, especially girls that he’s a vegetarian. Somehow he thinks it shows him a good light, but he always eats burgers, chicken wings, etc…

    • Hey Henway,

      You have me cracking up! Sounds like your friend wants to pull as many girls as he can.

      Now the big question, Is it working for him? 🙂

      Thanks for sharing!

      Evelyn

  11. Susan says:

    I’m a vegetarian – except I eat bacon. 🙂

    Ha! No, I’m kidding. Actually, I have tried very hard to be vegan before but life (meaning family, friends, boyfriend) make is impossible. Not to mention a few of my favorite foods (i.e. ice cream) I would have to do without. And no, I have not found a vegan alternative I could live with.

    Here’s a resource for you: Thrive by Brendan Brazier. It is a brilliant case for plant based nutrition and also has a performance slant on it. He is a triathlete who has been vegan for years. He even gives recipes for pre and post event. Love it!

    • Hey Susan,

      Your first sentence cracks me up. 🙂

      I know how hard it is when it comes to family and friends. I’ve just gotten to the point in my life where it doesn’t phase me. But a while back I couldn’t remain true to being a vegan because of family and friends, but now I’m stronger than ever. It took me some time to get to that point, though!

      I see we both love ice cream. It was tough for me to give that up, but I finally did it and I don’t miss it. Can’t believe that! I plan on purchasing an ice cream maker and making some vegan and raw ice cream in the future.

      Thanks for sharing the book. I’ll be sure to check it out! 😉

      Take care and have a wonderful day!

      Evelyn

  12. Hi Evelyn,

    Thanks for sharing the breakdown 🙂

    Vegetarians don’t eat meat. Just because you don’t eat red meat doesn’t make you a non-carnivore. Fish and chicken were living creatures at one time 🙂

    Ryan

    • Hey Ryan,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I can’t tell you how many people are quick to say they are vegetarian, while chowing down on some wings. 🙂

      Take care and enjoy your day!

      Evelyn

  13. Jimi Jones says:

    Thank you for explaining this, Evelyn. I never quite understood various levels or the terminology. For instance, I thought Vegan and Vegetarian were just different ways of saying the same thing. Always nice to learn something (my daily goal).

    I am (once again) working on a healthier diet, although the “foods that vegetarians do not eat” looks like a darn good menu for me. LOL

    I don’t eat a lot of red meat (3-4 times monthly) but eat a lot of fish and poultry. Trying to reduce the portions first.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Hey Jimi,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I think it is a good thing that you don’t eat a lot of red meat and that you stick with fish and poultry. Definitely a healthier way to go! 😉

      Take care and have a great day!

      Evelyn

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