Eating my words on eating fish

I have a confession to make: I am eating fish again. During my year of vegetarianism, I’ve repeatedly asked myself, “Does my body function better when I eat fish?” So I’m now conducting a personal experiment: making fish a dietary mainstay during my stay in Hawaii, where I’m on assignment for Lonely Planet. Forgoing fish was no problem, as I’m quite satisfied with tofu, lentils, and other vegetarian protein sources. But I seemed to be pushing my limits without enough nourishment; for example, I experienced minor but nagging soft-tissue injuries. Perhaps my diet wasn’t hearty enough, perhaps my slight frame offered minimal … Continue reading Eating my words on eating fish

Give me one reason… to eat toro

I read with dismay “Tuna’s End,” The New York Times Magazine, June 21, 2010, by Paul Greenberg. It is tragic that the world’s stock of bluefin tuna is approaching extinction. And it is appalling to see Japan actively promoting bluefin fishing (and the Japanese blithely savoring their toro sashimi). Sure, eating toro might be integral to Japanese culture, but cultural practices do not trump our universal human responsibilities. (And I’m Japanese.) Reading the article (and the comments), I contemplated my decision last December to stop eating fish. In the past six months of vegetarianism, I’ve rarely, if ever, craved fish … Continue reading Give me one reason… to eat toro

Sense, Sensuality, and Sensibility

In the New York Times article “When Chocolate and Chakras Collide” (January 26, 2010), yoga practitioners debate the yogic diet: Should yogis eat meat? Drink alcohol? Indulge in sweets and spices, onions and garlic? Traditionalists hold that ahimsa requires vegetarianism, and that one must avoid strong flavors, caffeine, and alcohol, which overwhelm the senses. Revisionists argue that the hardline approach is unnecessary, if one’s attitude is appropriate. Both views make sense. It seems incongruous that a yogi be pleasure-seeking; yet, sticking to the rules doesn’t guarantee saintliness. My two cents: CONSCIOUS EATING In the article, a group gathered for “vigorous, … Continue reading Sense, Sensuality, and Sensibility

Addendum on vegetarianism

In the November 9, 2009, New Yorker issue, staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert discusses vegetarianism and factory farming in “Flesh of Your Flesh,” in which she reviews Jonathan Safran Foer’s nonfiction book Eating Animals. Kolbert’s review (which reads as effectively as a full-fledged article, as the best reviews always do) struck me in the way the CBC documentary on overfishing (see my last post) did. It’s not a new topic. From John Robbins to Michael Pollan, we’ve repeatedly heard the same story, about the horrific way we treat livestock on modern mega farms. But it does bear repeating. In the November 30, … Continue reading Addendum on vegetarianism

Ahimsa versus sashimi

I recently watched part of a CBC documentary, The End of the Line, about the catastrophic collapse of global fish populations—due to our insatiable appetite for seafood. It’s based on Charles Clover’s 2008 book, The End of the Line: How Overfishing is Changing the World and What We Eat. Once plentiful, Atlantic cod and Bluefin tuna are facing extinction. If we continue fishing at our current rate, most seafood will be gone by 2048. Fish farming is no solution for top-level carnivores like salmon because their diet requires killing huge quantities of small fish, such as anchovies; in other words, fish … Continue reading Ahimsa versus sashimi