Monday, June 29, 2009

Another reason to be a vegetarian

For all you pescetarians, I highly recommend you see this movie: End of the Line.

It is about overfishing, and while I have only seen the trailer, it looks like something everyone should see. Here's the description:

"Narrated by Ted Danson and based on the book by Charles Clover, THE END OF THE LINE explores the devastating effect that overfishing is having on fish stocks and the health of our oceans. Scientists predict that if we continue fishing at the current rate, the planet will completely run out of fish by 2048."

Here is a website that gives some examples about what to do: Seafood Watch. If you don't think you can give up eating fish, at least check to see which fish populations are less endangered, or how the fish you eat were caught. The more you know...!

(Image from:


  1. So, I tended to eat a lot of tuna, and then I read an article about overfishing and tuna and felt really guilty and stopped buying it.

    I, essentially, do not purchase any meat products (fish included) at the supermarket anymore--fish is only eaten at special restaurant occasions.

    Some great vegetarian options:
    pita with hummus and feta
    high-protein pancakes with berries (cage-free, vegetarian diet eggs from Trader Joe's, lowfat cottage cheese, unsweetened soymilk, and corn flour)
    Mediterranean salad with falafel

    These basically dominate the food I make...sooo good.

    I also have been telling myself that I will make lentil burgers at some time in the future because the ones at Whole Foods are very good. I have lentils, so some day that will happen....

  2. i've always felt guilty since i'm not a vegetarian and will (very very probably) NEVER be... and no offense, mara, i've always felt that vegetarians are way too holier-than-thou about their eating habits.

    and i think a lot of people equate vegetarianism (and environmentalism) with being condescending, which is rather unfortunate

    that being said, i don't eat meat very often.

  3. Well, I have to say that I am incredibly thankful for meat substitutes, like tofu, seitan, and tempeh.

    My mother has been a vegetarian my whole life and has, luckily for me, made it relatively easy for me to eat good, varied vegetarian food. She used to cook the same dish but 1/2 with tofu and 1/2 with meat (for my brother and stepfather), but now we usually just cook with tofu because it is tasty, easier, and probably healthier.

    Since watching "Food, Inc," though, I've started thinking about Monsanto and genetically modified soy... sigh, it's hard to be guilt-free when it comes to food!

  4. Some of my feedback on both of those:

    1) I think that PETA has created horrible PR for vegetarianism. People associated environmentalists with vegetarianism and vegetarianism with PETA. Sea kittens? Honestly! The best way to encourage vegetarianism is not to make blatatnly sexual ads that objectify humans or to make outlandish statemetns but to work to have healthful and delicious vegetarian foods become integrated into the American diet. The NCBA (National Cattlemen's Beef Association) has done a great job at convincing Americans that beef is a "normative" food. In other words, we believe that beef is something that you SHOULD be eating. Sadly, as Marion Nestle mentions in Food Politics, fruits and vegetables don't have a powerful lobby. (I could go on for a LONG time on this topic).

    2) I have never been a huge fan of tofu although tempeh and seitan are good.

    3) You can get some non-GMO soy products at Whole Foods---I have I. M. Healthy non-GMO soynut butter. Although I know exactly what you mean.......Even though it is difficult to be perfect, we can all strive to make better choices. There is no guilt to be earned by trying.

    4) Also, on that point, avoiding processed foods is a big and valuable step.

    5) There is also the widespread belief that you can't get protein by being a vegetarian. Said belief is laughably false.

  5. i love tofu. fried, preferably.

    but yeah, peta is a little too crazy for me; they really alienate people.

    but re: what mara said about food inc, i agree it's hard to find truly "guilt-free" foods... if i had to survive on what i could grow on my own, i would be dead.

  6. Heh, I hope to live pretty independently from the "system" of processed foods when I grow up/ settle somewhere. I imagine I can grow lettuce and herbs and some veggies, live near a farmer's market, have some chickens that will lay eggs, and get humane/organic stuff nearby. We'll see.

    Also, my uncle works for the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, which has a great information page about protein and vegetarianism:

    And the Humane Society, as an alternative to PETA, rocks.

    Finally, Jon, if you do not like tofu, I promise, it just means you haven't had it made correctly yet ;-)

  7. I agree with the point about the Humane Society. Emphasizing a love of and compassion for animals has value in creating aid and working against animal cruelty in its many forms.

    About the tofu...maybe...Fried tofu tastes best, but I avoid fried foods...

  8. not to be all debbie-downer, but did you hear about the parents who tried to raise their baby as a vegan and then killed him? (

    granted, the child was on a diet of soy milk and apple juice and the article sparked a ton of debate:

    but... it sort of underscores the importance of being educated about food and what you eat, no?

  9. I remember that story from before. It basically shows a lack of understanding on their part.

    Do you know if they breast-fed the baby at all? I had wondered if the soymilk and apple juice began really early because mother's milk would not be vegan. (Kind of an awkward question, admittedly)