Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Do Vegetarians Go Fishing?

Today's post is about my adventures fishing in Alaska.  Before I start though, I thought I should address that fact that I AM a vegetarian.  Let's rewind…my veggie beliefs began at an early age.  I began refusing meat when my parents first tried giving it to me in my toddler years.  They were supportive of the no-meat attitude I had somehow developed by the age of two.  So, I just never ate meat and I was always actively against it.  As I grew older I was mainly against factory farming and big business controlling our food (I hate Monsanto too but that's a conversation for another day). I marched in parades to support vegetarian/vegan lifestyles, I handed out pamphlets, and generally supported my fellow veg-lovers and animals!

Activism, 2006. 

Then, I moved to Alaska in 2010 and saw the lack of resources.  It was impossible for me to be a vegetarian living in the Bush.  There was no milk of any kind (powdered-only), no vegetables, no fruit, and generally not a whole lot to choose from.  It took up 4-6 weeks for mail to arrive so ordering fresh food online wasn't even an option.  If food wasn't at the general store (and it almost never was), I didn't eat it.  So, while living in the Bush I ate fish, but only fish that I, or another villager, caught.  I chose to only eat locally caught fish by people that I knew because it allowed me to know who/what/when/where and that the person respected the animal.
Catching Dinner, 2010. 

So, while I am still not a meat-eater, my views have evolved after living in such a remote area of the world.  I learned that my lifestyle is actually impossible in some corners of the world (at least I found no other alternative).  In Juneau the vegetarian options are readily available (thankfully).  But, I still believe that Alaskans as a whole are a subsistence people who rely on hunting, fishing, and trapping to sustain themselves throughout the year.  They respect animals, they recognize that they are not the top of the food chain, and they hunt for survival.  This is simply their way of life and I respect them so much for this.

The Dolly that I caught under JD Bridge. 

Do vegetarians go fishing? This one did! I decided that I would try it out as long as we wasted none of the meat…and that is exactly what we did.  Cody plans to catch enough fish and other game to sustain himself this winter without store bought meat.  If I can contribute to the decline of factory farming through this route than I have decided that I will try it.  So, here are some pictures of my fishing adventures (as a vegetarian).  Enjoy:)

Fish Creek. 

Juneau-Douglas Bridge. 

Are you a vegetarian? Why or why not? 
What choice would you have made in my position?
Do you enjoy fishing, hunting, trapping, or gathering? 


  1. I have been a vegetarian for the past several years! For awhile after college I was thinking of going into the Peace Corps, and I knew that if I did I would eat meat and fish again because I knew it would be impossible to keep a healthy diet as a vegetarian. I totally believe that being a vegetarian is a personal choice, and it's up to each person to adapt their lifestyle to meet their needs! I probably would have made a similar choice to you with eating local fish.

    1. That's so awesome that you're veggie AND wanted to do Peace Corps, that was always my dream after college! I ended up doing the Alaska thing because it was something my fiancé and I could do together. A lot of vegetarians would probably frown on my choice but in places like this it is mostly eating to survive (not to indulge). Glad you would have considered doing the same thing! Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. I am also a vegetarian (16 years). I go fishing, but catch and release. Thankfully, Fred Meyer carries a lot of veggie options (I'm a fan of Quorn products!), so that makes it easier.

    1. Fred Meyer is awesome for veggie-type products! They carry most of my favorites. Woo-hoo to connecting with a fellow Juneau teacher and vegetarian :)


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