Most University of Minnesota students know that Haiku Japanese Bistro in Stadium Village is the place to go for sushi. With its funky, underwater-esque atmosphere, reasonable happy hour prices, and delicious food, it's hard to find a reason not to frequent the restaurant. That is, according to some, unless you're a vegetarian.

Enter fellow Spoon writer Aspenn Ward and I, two vegetarians hyped for a Haiku sushi date. Now you all may be wondering how can we be vegetarian and eat sea food. Our answer is thoughtfully considered, yet simple: because we can (and yes, we did start off with edamame, but we finished with three rolls of sushi bliss).

chili, pasture, edamame, pea, legume, vegetable
Beka Barski

It All Started with Veggies (in This Case, Edamame)

In case you were curious, I became vegetarian when I was in sixth grade, and then switched to veganism a year later. Even though I loved being vegan, once I entered high school my lifestyle didn't support such a strict diet. So I switched back to vegetarianism, and made the decision to include fish and seafood, technically making me a pescatarian. I didn't eat sea food often, but when I did it was locally and responsibly sourced, and usually for a special occasion.

meat, cheese, sushi, canape, fish, seafood, vegetable
Beka Barski

While some vegetarians would argue that occasionally eating sea food no longer makes you a vegetarian, I would disagree. I consider myself to be a vegetarian based on the fact that I consciously choose to eat foods that do not negatively impact the environment or support animal cruelty. I also strongly believe that a label, especially a dietary label, should not define or control what you can do with your body.

The takeaway? Eat what you want to eat because it is good for you and aligns with your beliefs. If you disagree with what someone is eating based on their preferred dietary label, keep those opinions to yourself. Sharing those thoughts will not automatically make the person change their ways, but will most likely make them feel bad about their diet, which is never okay - especially when they are making efforts to help the environment or end animal cruelty.

Even though I will not eat meat, and try to follow a vegan diet as much as I possibly can, I will still indulge in responsibly sourced sea food once in a while because I want to. Similarly, my mom, who has been vegan for seven years, will sometimes eat eggs because her body needs the specific nutrients they provide. We still call ourselves vegetarian and vegan, respectively, but eat what makes us happy and healthy when necessary.

The other takeaway? Haiku has amazing food, and will 10/10 satisfy your sushi craving. Head on over from 3-5 pm any day of the week for happy hour to ball on a budget (and maybe eat too many Gopher Rolls). #Ski-U-Sushi

Diets are a No-Judgement Zone