I'm not going to embarrass the person/agency who sent this email to me, but I think that it signifies just how little vegetarianism is understood. Well, either that or the sender didn't bother to read the "About Me" section of my blog.
My name is [deleted] and I work for [popular marketing agency] in Cincinnati, Ohio.
From your blog, I know that healthy eating is important to you.
One of our clients, [deleted], has taken an important step in offering low-fat, non-fried seafood choices with their new menu. This menu features Grilled Salmon, Grilled Tilapia and Shrimp Scampi.
I know personally since having a child and one on the way I have become a more health conscious person looking for healthier foods.
Since fish is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which benefits the heart this menu has really intrigued me along with health benefits for the heart, eyes, brain, immune system.
So I was wondering if you would be interested in trying it out for yourself. I will send you a couple of gift checks so you can do so for free.
I sent a polite reply letting her know that vegetarians do not eat seafood.
I realize that this is a slippery slope - I do know of some people who claim vegetarianism but DO eat seafood, but according to The Vegetarian Society (the oldest vegetarian organization in the world) vegetarianism can be defined thusly:
A vegetarian is someone living on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with or without the use of dairy products and eggs.
A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or slaughter by-products.
Vegetarianism can further be broken down into those who eat both eggs and dairy (lacto-ovo vegetarians) and those who will not eat eggs but do eat dairy products (lacto-vegetarians). Those who take vegetarian a step further and eat no eggs, dairy products or other animal by-products like honey are considered vegan.
Someone who eats seafood but doesn't eat red or white meat is a pesceterian, NOT a vegetarian.
I am vegetarian: I do not eat mammals, fish or fowl, and I limit the amount of eggs and dairy in my diet. I buy only free-range eggs from a local farmer and do my best to avoid cheese with rennet - which is derived from the stomachs of calves and goats and is used as a coagulator for various cheeses. Admittedly it can be difficult to do when dining out.
For an at-your-fingertips guide of non-rennet cheeses, printing a copy of The Cheese List to have on hand is a good idea.