Shellfish: The Zombies of the Animal Kingdom?


Question: What’s pink, purple and yellow all over?

Answer: ME!

I painted my fingernails BRIGHT pink last night, and my toes a pastel purple to get OBX ready! And I’m a blonde, so I have, like, yellow hair all over my body….

Ok – so it’s a stretch, but you knew were I was going with that.

Ladies & Gentlemen – the countdown is currently at T-minus 24 hours until I depart for OBX and I could NOT be more excited. I am in desperate need for a vacation – I haven’t taken a day off from work since Christmas.


And I got to tell you something folks – I SHOULD be nervous about going away, not having my schedule, not bringing & cooking my own food.

But I’m not. (Oh the sacrilege!)

My uncle, who is legitimately¬† referred to as “King of the Grill” sent out the menu for the week. And, while there are pot-holes of indulgence, it’s certainly reasonable. I’m planning on making a grocery store run for vegan burgers & bread, and bringing some of my own snacks from home. There’s always fresh fruit in the house for breakfast, we’re having a salad every night, and there’s always vegetables on the grill.

SPEAKING OF! People – especially those of you who a) have a grill or b) have a gas stove like moi – Have you ever roasted a whole red pepper over an open flame? (a la marshmallow style?) I tried it last night – I just plopped the whole pepper on top of that grate thingy, right over the flame. I flipped it (with tongs, don’t burn yourself) every few seconds until there were some decent black char marks. No joke: I cut it up and ate the entire thing like an apple. Seriously – no sauce, no spices – it was warm and smokey and delicious. Do yourself a favor and try it!

Back to OBX –

My eating practice is based on two rules, “Eat without violence” (which includes being violent towards the earth – processed foods that have large carbon footprints and are unsustainable are a no-no) and Mr. Graham Kellogg’s (yes, the frosted flakes dude) “If it can run away, don’t eat it”.

I love seafood, and while it’s easy to ignore it here at home (I just don’t buy it and I don’t normally trust seafood prepared commercially) I know it will be tougher in North Carolina. All the seafood will be freshly caught from the local fishermen (we actually buy from the equivalent of a fish farmer’s market) and I know that a) these scallops were never anyone’s pet & b) where the food came from, who caught it, when they caught it and how it’s being prepared.

Scallops, Mussels, Clams and Oysters can’t run away – but they are animals. They don’t have brains – but they do have a rather simplistic central nervous system that, while it can’t “feel” pain – it does register it as something to avoid. They are basically like animal zombies. I can make the argument not to eat shrimp and lobster and swimming fishes – those have eyes and definable “animalistic” characteristics – you have to actively hunt them to eat them. They can run away.

“True” shellfish (as I’m referring to them) are harvested. They just hang out on rocks and stuff, and humans come over and pluck them out like little potatoes. But I guess they’d run away if they could too. And so would potatoes…

This is why I’m so hesitant to put a label, “vegan”, “vegetarian”, “lacto/ova-vegetarian”, “pescatarian”, “fruititarian” etc on myself. It’s so restrictive – as soon as you put yourself in a box – you start finding opportunities to question the parameters, and an sweeping categorization of people & their beliefs isn’t really accurate.

What’s a conscious eater to do!?


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