Eating less meat is always a great thing to do and has many benefits ranging from medical and ethical to environmental. But what if you already eat less meat and are currently on a pescatarian diet and want to go full on into the meatless realm? You’re already half-way there so what’s stopping you? Transitioning from pescatarian to vegan can be just as hard as going pescatarian was in the first place. Find out some of the challenges you’ll probably be faced with in Pescatarian to Vegan: 6 Things You Need to Be Aware of!
1. Psychological Barrier
Firstly, the psychological barrier. So you’ve given up red meat, but just like the initial challenge of stripping out red-meat for pescatarians, going through the ethical debate, changing your mindset and revisiting your morals can be tough. It usually takes a little more time to consider things like ethical options!
2. Eating Out
Whether it’s your family gathering or a concert, the availability of vegan options in certain instances might itself seem unpalatable. At least with the pescatarian diet there were more options, with veganism there’s always a possibility of awkwardness not to mention leaving that social event with an empty stomach.
Also, eating out (although options are increasing) can be limited. Vegetables might be cooked with ingredients that vegans are trying to avoid such as chicken or meat stock and gelatine.
3. Social Pressure
It can be a daunting task answering questions and trying to explain the arguments for your choice. And if you live with meat-eaters, being a vegan can prove downright hard. Declining food options, can leave your friend or family member feeling a bit offended, as well as eventually less social invitations.
4. Dairy No Longer Acceptable
With veganism that’s a big no-no. If you’ve grown up with having milk and eating cheese due to social conditioning, it’s natural to crave them and it can be hard to turn your back on them. Yes, there are vegan options now, but you might still crave those traditional options as they contain those feel good elements that trigger happy hormones, ie. cheese.
5. Cravings for Meaty Flavours
With pescatarianism, that could be satisfied with a wonderful sea-bass meal topped with exquisite tasting prawns. But now, that delicious home-cooked paella that your mum cooked is no longer an option. And paella is a difficult meal to replicate with purely vegan ingredients.
6. Conscious Budgeting
Veganism isn’t ‘cheap’ per se, it can be more expensive than pescatarianism. You can do it on a budget, just be mindful if you’re really going vegan, you may find that things cost a bit more in the beginning until you find out how to do it economically. Vegan specialty and convenience foods can sometimes cost double or even three times what their meat and dairy equivalents do.
Despite the challenges, you will find taking steps in the direction of becoming more plant-based, or vegan, much healthier for you. It can bring you an awareness and appreciation that is psychologically positive and more socially conscious as well as naturally harmonising with physical fitness.