I was born and raised a vegetarian — or more specifically, a pescaterian, a vegetarian who eats fish. My parents are both pescaterians who I’ve never seen eat a speck of meat that lives on land, and that is how I grew up. When I was a young child, I would occasionally eat chicken when it was fed to me by my grandmothers, but from age 13-22 I adopted my parent’s eating plan exclusively. I agreed with my mother’s philosophy that I should only eat things I could or would kill, clean, and cook myself. I couldn’t imagine beheading and plucking a chicken, so I stopped. Until I moved to Texas at 22 and found it hard to manage living a poultry-free life in a place that cooked all rice in chicken stock.

I kept up this eating plan until 2009, when at the age of 34 I decided it was time to spend at least one year of my life eating all there was to offer. This is a diary of that year.