Flexitarian diets seem to be all the rage these days. Vancouver has proclaimed June 10 as Meatless Monday. Bill Gates thinks the Future of Food is in fake meat. Mark Bittman, New York Times food critic, recently created the VB6 diet (Vegan Before 6 pm).
So I might as well jump on the bandwagon and declare myself a pescavegan – a vegan who occasionally eats oysters and possibly other seafood. I got the idea after reading 13 Tips for Vegans by Raw Food SOS. There’s also this Slate article, Consider the Oyster – Why even strict vegans should feel comfortable eating oysters by the boatload. The general idea is that oysters check all the main reasons for going vegan – they’re healthy, ethical, and environmentally friendly. Oysters are high in the nutrients hardest to find in a vegan diet (mainly vitamin B-12). Anyone vegan for animal cruelty reasons will be reassured that oysters don’t have a central nervous system. Farmed oysters are considered sustainable seafood and they’re grown locally here in BC.
I grew up on a pescetarian diet, but I largely stopped eating seafood when Emily and I started dating. Ironically that was soon after moving to the West Coast. I think seafood can be part of a healthy diet, but I have a lot of concerns about over-fishing. From a personal health perspective, my body has taken well to a vegan diet. I’m in the best running shape of my life and haven’t been sick once since going vegan. However I have concerns about my B-12 intake. I was having problems with fatigue in 2011 and blood tests showed elevated levels of bilirubin, which can be caused by B-12 deficiency (among other things). Since then I’ve switched to fortified almond milk and try to eat more nutritional yeast, and that seems to have helped. Oysters might be another solution. I’ve had oysters twice in the past few months. Fresh oysters and smoked that I bought at Whole Foods. I wasn’t enamoured with the taste of either. They fresh oysters didn’t taste like much. Maybe I’m eating it wrong. I’ll have to go to an oyster bar and try them prepared at a restaurant. I leave you with an interesting video about oyster farming in BC.