My Pescatarian Journey

The 1st of July marks six month of my living as a pescetarian!

Honestly, I used to believe I could never be vegetarian. I thought I could never leave red meat and poultry especially after enjoying DIVINE Japanese beef. I thought so in spite of my knowledge that meat production is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, which cause climate change, and I had been a promoter of climate change mitigation for the past 6+ years. Plus, I knew how poisonous our poultry and beef products are. Still, I consciously chose not to cut my emotional bond with beef burgers and chicken karaage.

But last year I was involved in a research on lifestyles carbon footprint – we reviewed lifestyles aligned with global climate change goals. I saw how our food choices make up a large portion of our emissions and also a hotspot where reduction will be largely effective.

This research convinced me to make the change. If reducing beef and supporting less carbon-intensive produce help the environment and prevent humanity from damage due to climate change, I will try to do it. 

In addition, why put products of poisonous industry into your body? I know how much chemicals they inject to chickens and how polluting animal farms are.

I wanted to reduce my carbon footprint and I strived to be healthier.

So the first step is to cut beef, the largest greenhouse gas emitter.  This wasn’t hard since I hadn’t been cooking much beef anyway. I don’t find it a big challenge when eating out either – there are always vegetables and seafood options.

Second on the list are lamb and mutton. Easy – I hardly ever eat them. Chicken is trickier since it’s so common and affordable. But I managed.

Next comes the bigger challenge for me: dairy products and eggs! Forgetting, or even reducing, cheese will be a great and sad life change for me. Honestly, I’m not ready. So for now I just changed cow milk to soy. This experience was quite unique.

The first verdict: soy milk sucked in coffee. Thus started my experiment using different flavors (surprisingly there are plenty of soy milk flavors in Japan) and combinations. I told myself if Starbucks could make their Soy Latte work, I can too. 

Then I found the solution: coffee with soy milk works with warm soy milk. So I just added a few minutes of breakfast time to heat soy milk before mixing it with coffee and sugar as usual. It works!

Egg is hard to leave, not because I love it but because it’s so practical and easily found ‘hidden’ in dishes when eating out. For the moment I will keep it in my diet.

Now six months have passed and it’s not a big deal! I don’t miss beef or chicken. I even dislike the taste of chicken now… I buy veggies and fish for home cooking and chose ‘seafood’ or ‘vegetarian’ option when eating out. I follow many vegetarian cooking accounts on Instagram. :))

I started this in Japan and I’m now adjusting to options and groceries in Jakarta. So far it’s been trickier, not because I can’t resist but because options aren’t plenty.

But pescatarian living is doable here and anywhere in the world. For me, it’s worth for my better health and avoiding climate change. 

As I learned from yoga, everything we feel and think comes from the mind. The old me thought “I can never be”, but yet now, I am. And it’s nothing too difficult.

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