I have been pescetarian since January - it hasn't been too hard, every now and then I miss something (bacon, chicken wings, duck, liver), but for the most part its been smooth sailing. I've always told myself I could give up everything but my beloved seafood.
But I've been having doubts lately - its not so much that I miss the meat - I miss cooking it, sampling it, and being able to try a little bit of everything before me. Earlier today we went to a Chinese buffet - and it was surprisingly good; not too greasy, the egg foo young was actually cooked right (it is almost always overcooked just about everywhere), shrimp and mussels actually tasted relatively fresh. Which of course as a foodie makes me want to see if the rest of their food pans out - I guess thats the problem, I don't think like someone with dietary constraints. I think like a foodie, like a cook, like a gourmand, like a hedonist. I still count Bourdain and Keller as personal heroes - they taught me how to cook the perfect french fry, and for that I can never repay them. I miss putting a beef shoulder in the oven with a bottle of cheap red wine and some root vegetables. I miss oven-'roasting' a whole chicken. Shit. I think I have to take a break from what is surely a healthier and arguably a more ethical diet. What good is knowing how to check if something is that perfect medium-rare without being able to use the knowledge? What good is a cook with limits?
I'm going to revert back to a omnivorous lifestyle for a week and see what happens - I need to see if I really miss it that much, or if I'm just in a nostalgic mood.
"surely a healthier and arguably a more ethical diet"
with the state of the oceans these days, "healthier" is debatable. and the "ethical" portion of it is completely debatable, too.
it's normal to be omnivore! what's not normal is to purchase foods from thousands of miles away, grown in petro-chemicals, slaughtered uncaringly, and consumed in bulk. whether these foods be animal, vegetable, fruit, whatever. a healthy, ethical diet consists of one that's local, home-grown, with love and respect for the continuance and health of the food and its surroundings. anything beyond that might be unavoidable (damn industrial civilization!) but is also unhealthy and unethical.
i understand this, and it is resolved in only one of two ways: 1. you decide to revert back or 2. you feel the desire for the other foods and wait for that desire to pass. it really is all a matter of choice.
that said, if you go omnivore, still don't eat fast food hamburgers/taco bell/etc. that should be a rule for everyone.
You don't have to choose between two extremes. Most long-term vegetarians (and probably pescatarians too) are not the ones who are militant about it.
If you're really craving bacon, have some effing bacon every once in a while. I know a world without bacon and that perfect soft medium-rare steak that cuts like butter would be a bitter world indeed.
I'd imagine that part of the meat industry problem starts with the overconsumption of meat itself. Americans tend to eat in excess. If you're cutting down your meat consumption significantly, and eating meat only once or twice a week would count, you're still getting your point across and living a healthier, more ethical lifestyle, as you say.
I'm not sure how eating meat only once in a while would pan out on your digestive tract though. I guess you can always try.
(I do have a confession. I've wanted to be a vegetarian for a few years now. I only seriously tried it once. I didn't last very long, and realized I just like meat way too much. If I would seriously reconsider again, I know the only way to do it would be to cut down, instead of cutting out completely.)
Hey dude, at least you had the balls to try it out. Think of all the chickens you saved since January. And in case you are were pescatarian for animal rights type reasons (and in fact, I have a feeling you weren't) Just ask yourself one question: If you knew that in a few weeks an alien race would descend from the heavens, cook us all into human cordon bleu and have us for dinner, would you still care?