I Brake for Pescatarians.

Posted by Whit Barringer , Wednesday, November 07, 2007 6:43 PM

Today is day one of my official foray into what may hopefully be a longer-than-a-day commitment to pescatarianism.

A pescatarian is really just a vegetarian with a side of fish. I don't feel like I can give up meat completely (mainly because I really don't want to), but I feel like I need a change. For those of you who know me, this might be surprising to you. It's somewhat surprising to me, too. But I have my reasons - which I will now give you the privilege of knowing. (I know you want to know.)

In the last few weeks I have been so sleepy that I feel absolutely drugged. It doesn't matter if I eat or not, sleep or not, study or not, play games or not - none of it matters. I am so extremely sleepy when I get up (anywhere between 6 and 8:30 these days) and I'm sleepy the entire rest of the day. I'm able to go to sleep for the night starting at 5 or 6 in the evening. It's pathetic, but I can't find ways to overcome it. No matter where I am, I feel the urge to fall asleep.

This all culminated into one of my more unfortunate accidents. I was in standstill traffic on the interstate, fully stopped. I've been known to nod off while I've been driving, and I'm always told that I'm lucky that I don't get in a wreck. Well, not this time. My foot was neither on the brake nor on the accelerator, and my car crept forward until I hit the person in front of me. It was a devastating 5 MPH car crash orgy. The ram's head on the front of my car is now missing a nose, and the hood on the passenger side is popped. It's a miracle I was able to walk from the wreckage.

Not only did this event give me just one more reason to hate my car, but it also gave me a reason to reevaluate the order/chaos of my life right now. I'm working nearly six days a week and taking fifteen hours, one of which is purely working on my thesis (fifteen didn't seem like a lot to me either - until I actually got into it). I'm constantly stressed out. But I've got bills to pay, just like everyone else. Quitting my job was not an option. So what am I going to do?

Well, I started looking at what I can change. I can't sleep twelve hours a day. It's literally impossible with all of my responsibilities. On top of that, sleeping for twelve hours doesn't guarantee anything but a headache because I've slept too much.

Taking a step back, I realized that, less than I ever wanted to be, I am far more the average American than I ever wanted to be. I eat out constantly, and I often eat poorly. I only look at my food long enough to make sure it will fit my loose guidelines for eating it. I sit for a very large percentage of my day, whether it's in the classroom, at my job, in the car, or in my room. But the thing is, I've known these things for a long time. What's really and truly changed?

Not much, actually. I suppose I'm just fed up with it all. Seeing as I a) want to feel better and b) can only really change my diet right now, the only real option seemed to be changing my diet so I can feel better.

Besides the basic premise, I have had ethical concerns about humaneness of animal consumption in our highly industrialized world. There's something deeply and disturbingly unnatural about genetically engineering animals to the point that they are so fat, they can't stand up anymore. Moving even beyond that (though it's hard to see how many people, including myself, have been able to), there is a serious problem with putting hormones in our food that pass on to us and change the way our bodies work. It worries me how willing we are to turn a blind eye to what's going on. Perhaps this is my chance to go against the flow and swim upriver. It will be hard, no doubt, but I can always tell myself that life will be better on the other end of it, right?

Today has gone pretty well. I stopped at a fast Italian place on the way home (it was my way of compromising and not going to a conventional fast food/deep fried joint), and got a dish with meat in the sauce without really thinking about it. But that was a slip-up, and I'm livin' and learnin' this new lifestyle thing. Day One has been a moderate success (hey, two out of three ain't bad).

See you on Day Two.

1 Response to "I Brake for Pescatarians."

Justin Ray Says:

Good luck on your new quest. I tried to go without eating any meat whatsoever for a week one time, and my willpower melted away somewhere around day four. Me and my partner in crime mutually said "screw it" and headed to Captain D's.

I think I could do it better now. I am so much a fan of noodles and soups that I think I could almost be a vegetarian without realizing it...albeit a very unhealthy one who lived on starch alone. Meat is just so expensive that I hardly ever buy it.

One small thing I do think makes me feel a lot better is to largely limit my liquid intake to coffee, water, tea, and alcohol. On top of everything else, most Americans are dehydrated more often than not and don't have a clue. Most of the things we drink don't actually give us that much in the way of hydration.

I love carbonated and sugary beverages with a passion, but the aftertaste they leave made me wonder after a while. I used to have indigestion and feel all crampy a lot, and that has helped more than anything.

Coffee and tea keep me alert without doing too much damage, massive amounts of water offset what damage they do, and a wee bit of wine or brandy a day seems to be good for my system.

Post a Comment