Name: Justin Pierce Baldwin Gerald
Occupation: ESL Teacher
Website: Informed Instigation
How long have you been pescatarian? And what inspired your journey?
I’ve been a pescatarian since I was two. My mother says that I had a sensitive stomach as a baby, so the doctor said wait to introduce him to meat. They waited, and eventually, introduced it to me, but I didn’t like it for whatever reason. However, I did enjoy seafood.
Has pescatarianism enhanced your health? Why or why not?
I have no basis for comparison since I’ve always been pescatarian. But I’m probably much healthier than I would be. As an avid exercise fan, I try to stick to pasta, legumes, veggies and fruit (aside from occasional forays into salmon and pizza). A few apples can serve as a “snack” for me, but perhaps it would be chicken wings from KFC if I wasn’t living this eating lifestyle. I would definitely be a different person.
In retrospect, how do you feel about meat? Or do you have any thoughts on America’s meat industry?
The idea of humans eating meat doesn’t bother me in the abstract (i.e. if they did it in a very different way or like in the past, when they were merely hunting and gathering).
But the way meat is raised (entirely too cruel), farmed (ditto), marketed, and prepared is one of the primary reasons that the United States is very unhealthy, despite its socio-economic privilege. Before we say anything about being a great country, we need to get healthy first.
Eventually, I plan to phase out non-vegan food by 2013, once I finish my master’s and have more time to practice recipes.
Was there a community of black men that helped you along your meatless journey? And if not, what are you doing to change this for others?
No, I’ve actually convinced the black men around me to be healthier. I didn’t really have help, although my family has always been accommodating and supportive. I do wish my best friend would stop eating like a rabid lion, though. He’s one of those “I’m skinny, therefore I must be healthy” types. Grrr!
Primarily, I’m the only non-full-meat-eater out of all my friends. I try to lead by example through posting on my website, which encourages people to make a commitment to be healthier (amongst other topics).
Are you a vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian? Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be featured in the Black Male Vegetarian Series. Check back every Wednesday for a new profile! Click to read past profiles here.