I stopped eating meat… hmm, let’s see… 16 years ago. It started out as a teenage rebellion thing (I was 15 at the time): one day I announced to my mother that I was now a vegetarian. So that was that.

Initially I stuck to it out of sheer bloody-mindedness. Being vegetarian meant being different and it was kind of cool. Then it became a habit. Then I realised that I felt better when I wasn’t eating meat.

At first I was a straightforward vegetarian, eating no part of no dead animal. At some point (I can’t remember when or why) I felt like eating seafood, so I tried that again. After a period of experimentation I concluded that while I could eat fish, I didn’t like it much any more: most often it didn’t taste good, and it felt less good than veggies. (Meat, on the other hand, I neither want to nor can eat.) The exception was raw fish: sushi tastes good, as does gravad lax.

So now I eat veggies, and very occasionally sushi – maybe once or twice a month. Cooked fish remains a backup option for those cases when the choice is between either the fish, or boiled potatoes and bread for dinner all week. (Case in point: the Canary islands.)

This whole topic comes up regularly: lunches at work, various organized events, trips etc. I say that I’m a vegetarian, and inevitably get the follow-up question: “Is fish OK?” I used to think it was a weird question to ask when someone’s just told you that they’re a vegetarian. Vegetarian means eats vegetables after all. But then again, my own answer to that question tended to be a “Well, kind of, in emergencies, but I’d rather not” so the question obviously wasn’t as absurd as it sounded. It’s semi-vegetarians like me who’ve muddled the terminology.

I could call myself a pescatarian, except that isn’t really true, because I would almost always choose a vegetarian dish over a fish dish. (Assuming the vegetarian dish does not consist solely of boiled potatoes.) And besides, I don’t think your average non-vegetarian would even understand that word.

So I think I need a new word. From now on, I’m a sushitarian.