Monday, July 7, 2008

The Dictionary Learned It and So Can You, Fishy McNotvegetarian

So among my long list of pet peeves (including, but not limited to: repetitive noise, Kirsten Dunst, and people who misquote movies without first acknowledging that they don't really remember the original line) there is a special I'm-foaming-at-the-mouth-annoyed-with-you spot reserved for people who make a big stink letting everyone know that they are vegetarian then later reveal to you "well, I do eat fish," like suddenly mackerels sprout from the ground. I'm not referring to all who choose to add fish to their otherwise veggie diet, just those who want to come off as hip and with-it to other vegetarians and at the same time look down their nose at fellow omnivores who have the audacity to eat red meat. It's like they've been living in a bizarro world where fish, lobster, clams, and mussels are suddenly made of leafy greens.Well, here's a newsflash for those who see the ocean as a floating vegetable garden: You come off as an asshole to real vegetarians as well as omnivores, so shut-up and learn your real name which is, Pescatarian.

I've been correcting people on this name for years, though it is usually met with much skepticism from these wannabes. Now, however, I've got Merriam-Webster on my side. The newest addition of the dictionary will contain "pescatarian", although, Microsoft Word will still be confounded by it. I'm slightly annoyed by the definition they use: "a vegetarian who eats fish," as it is non congruent to their definition of vegetarian: "consisting wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products." From what I can tell fish falls into none of those food categories, which is why the word "pescatarian" is needed to begin with. I would suggest changing it to "a person who eats fish, but would otherwise be considered a vegetarian." What? Too wordy? Well, that's why I didn't major in word-smithery.

Also, as an added note, I don't really care what and how people eat, as it is a personal choice. I myself have a number of dietary restrictions that probably annoy the hell out of others. So those pescatarians who think I'm hating on you, no worries, enjoy your fish. I just figured that some of the more label obsessed fish eaters would appreciate knowing the correct word usage, since it is clear you want everyone to know your very specific diet.

One more thing just for fun, I know there are all kinds of ethical debates we can have about PETA in the future, but for now check out their facts on fish, and why cutting them from your diet is a friendly move.


emrez said...

THANK YOU. i hate it when people say they're vegetarians, and then turn out not to be. i get so excited when i meet other vegetarians!! and am thusly disappointed to discover that they actually do EAT ANIMALS.

and then i feel bad for the fish. fish are animals, too!

let's not even get started on the people who say they're vegetarians, but they "occasionally eat chicken and turkey." go to vegetarian hell, you posers.

Hannah Geyer said...

First of all, mackerels may not sprout from the ground, as it were, but I have it on very good authority that salmon actually do.

Secondly, if word-smithery was actually a major, I would have never met you, because I would have been word smithing all day.

But seriously - could it be that the dictionary called it "vegetarian that eats meat" because of the whole strangely wildly popular Lent-Don't-Eat-Meat-On-Fridays-But-Fish-Is-Okay thing? Who knows. It's weird.

your vegetarian friend that eats any kind of meat set in front of her. That still means I'm vegetarian, right?

tinylisa said...

As a proud pescatarian, i applaud you. I cannot tell you how many times i have had to explain that word to people.