By Anne-Marie Kildron
Hello my name is Anne-Marie and this is my first blog! I have been on a sustainability journey since I was little and I am learning everyday how to be kinder to myself and the planet. I have loved nature, healthy eating, and making conscious decisions for the planet ever since I can remember. I don’t know what necessarily made me think about how my actions affect the planet, but I think the biggest step to becoming more sustainable is changing your mindset.
I am here to talk about my journey into becoming a pescatarian. This may not seem like it relates at all, but the coronavirus pandemic is actually what jump started my diet change. I have never been someone who is heavily reliant on meat, and I always felt like I would go pescatarian eventually, and maybe even fully vegetarian someday, but I never had an actual start date set in mind. In other words, I was just too stuck in my ways to really make the change and I was living such a fast-paced lifestyle before the pandemic that I never felt like I was able to have that much control on my diet. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, I felt a sense of panic along with everyone else in the world. I felt so out of control of the situation and I tried everything I could to not obsess over the news. I am someone who really likes to have my life structured because it makes me feel in control. So when the pandemic hit, I decided to focus my energy on making positive changes in my diet and routine - which really allowed me to feel more in control of my day-to-day life because so much felt unknown, especially at the start of the pandemic. I decided that since I wasn’t going to be eating out as much, and my pace of life was drastically slowing down, that this was the perfect time to try and cut meat out of my diet.
My initial goal was to cut out meat and fish, but as I began to cook at home, it felt too drastic for me to cut them all out at once. After a few months of trying to be a full vegetarian, I added fish back in the mix. When I decided to not eat meat, I stopped buying it at the grocery store and bought tofu and beans instead. I didn’t really follow a playbook or look at too many guides on how to go vegetarian/pescatarian, I just went in full force, one day eating a chicken dinner and the next day, I swapped it for pasta and veggies. In the time that I have been pescatarian, I have “gone back” on my diet change and eaten meat maybe a handful of times, but overall the change has been pretty easy for me since I was never a big meat lover to begin with. The reason I chose to go pescatarian is because of the environment, but there are so many other ways to also contribute positively, and it doesn’t mean you have to cut meat out “cold turkey” (pun intended) like I did. I think by minimizing the amount of red meat and overall meat that we intake and being more conscious about where it comes from is a good start. Not everyone has equal access and privileges to become vegetarian on a whim like I did either, and I think the whole culture of shaming people into thinking that if they are not vegan then they are harming the environment is toxic and comes from a privileged mindset to say the least.
I guess this blog is less about how I became pescatarian and more about my general thoughts on the whole thing. I would love to be able to go vegan one day, but I don’t think it will ever be the diet for me, and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I’m not “doing enough” for the planet, because the biggest contributors who need to be held accountable are large corporations, not individuals. It is a well-practiced tactic by corporations to put the onus on the consumer to make the change for sustainability because it takes the focus off of the harmful things that they are contributing to. I have to remind myself in my journey to sustainability that there is only so much I can do as an individual and that the larger corporations are contributing the highest percentages to climate change and deforestation and that they should be held accountable. That is where I like to focus my activism and that is why I think changing my diet was a small part. Overall, I am happy that I became a pescatarian and it works for me but for those who cannot make that change, there is no reason to shun those people away from the movement because they are not the problem.