By Larraine Roulston:
Meet the Reducetarians! They are the folks who lean towards being vegetarians but find it too difficult to make a full commitment. Personally, I love all-veggie meals and always order them in restaurants. I particularly enjoy dinners with my sister, who has been a true vegetarian for many years. Also, other family members often exclude meat from their menus. When it comes to my home cooking, we are lucky to live near a family farm where we obtain free-range meat. I also plan a nonveggie meal on alternate days of the week.
“Reducetarian,” coined by Brian Kateman, is an addition to the list of names such as flexitarian, pesto pollo vegetarian and the more commonly used semi-vegetarian. Reducetarian is a positive term that helps people feel that they are making progress on their meat-reduction journey. As the author of , Katemen approached the idea with the umbrella movement that he refers to as . Kateman also promotes . The debut of this 2017 event took place in Manhattan. During the first summit, delegates from across the globe discussed the importance of reducing our entrenched societal meat consumption and searched for effective strategies to implement the concept. Click to view the entire schedule.
Kateman describes the term “reducetarian” on his website as being “composed of individuals who are committed to eating less meat — red meat, poultry and seafood — as well as less dairy and fewer eggs, regardless of the degree or motivation. This concept is appealing because not everyone is willing to follow an ‘all-or-nothing’ set. However, reducetarianism is still inclusive of vegans, vegetarians, and anyone else who reduces the amount of animals in their diet.”
It is estimated that the average American eats 275 pounds of meat annually. Some people rely on more meat than others, due to their need for meat protein. If, however, each individual would be willing to reduce his/her meat consumption by just 10%, it would make a considerable difference. The fact that gives hope that overall progress is being made. This approach is more realistic than striving to convert people to become vegetarians or vegans.
Dietary habits have been ingrained since childhood. Just a few decades ago, before climate change was a mainstream topic, people would devour a breakfast of bacon and eggs, a lunch consisting of a baloney sandwich with milk and cheese, then sit down fora beef stew at dinner — without giving any consideration to the planet’s sustainability, the amount of meat consumed or the welfare of the animals.
It may take time to make the transition; however, once you have enjoyed creating an all-veggie meal, it will become a habit and you will find various ways to reduce your consumption of meat. Serving smaller portions of meat, having meat only once daily, celebrating Meatless Monday or Weekday Vegetarianism all lead down the same path towards a healthier planet.