Becoming Vegetarian... Or Not

By: 
Meca-Gaye Francis
Class of: 
2020

When I came to St. Lawrence, my diet changed quite a bit. I knew that I might have to give up my regular indulgence in traditional Jamaican dishes like Ackee and Saltfish, Curry Goat, and Jerk Pork. What I did not know, however, is that I would finally develop a liking for salads. Yes, salads. In the spring of my first year, I started transitioning to a pescatarian diet.

Pescatarian may be used as a noun or a verb, and describes a diet that consists of vegetables, fish, and seafood. Vegetarian is used to describe a diet that does not consist of meat and might also exclude animal products based on preference. A Vegan diet, lastly, is one that excludes meat and animal products. One may adopt any variation of these diets for ethical, religious, health, and other personal reasons. I just wanted to try something new.

I started out as a vegetarian. My go-to dish at Dana Dining Hall was a salad with an assortment of vegetables topped with eggs, shredded cheese, black olives, and my dressing of choice. These salads were the highlight of my semester, or so I thought. On one spontaneous day, I decided to try the Pub’s fish sandwich. I had seen the light. I convinced myself that I could still have seafood and be a vegetarian. This is a debate my vegetarian friends and I have yet to settle.

There are actually a wide variety of food options at St. Lawrence to cater to a range of dietary restrictions. There are gluten-free stations and food options at all main eateries. Dana has a salad and an organic bar which are always stocked throughout the day. Always offered is a vegetarian and vegan option for each meal. Options vary from a taco bar to shrimp stir-fry to a spicy fish wrap with the alternative of not having any seafood in your meal.

Slowly but surely, I started eating meat again. I could hear the chicken burgers calling me, and was compelled to answer. It is simply too tempting to be pescatarian but also to not be. The best feeling, however, is knowing that I will have a mouthful of delicious options regardless of what I choose.