What Is The Reducetarian Movement?

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The new lifestyle trend that wants you to eat less meat

Just how much meat have you been eating? When it comes to meat and our daily diets, it seems that we’ve always had a term. There’s the proud carnivore that doesn’t feel like they’ve eaten until some meat – preferably red – has been served on their plate. Then there are the omnivores who aren’t picky. A balanced diet is all they’re after. We’ve got your vegetarians who won’t eat meat, and then there’s your vegan who will have nothing to do with any animal products. Oh, we almost forgot the pescatarian who’s only source of meat is fish, and the pollotarians who’s meat source is only poultry such as chicken. We think we’ve got the major ones down.

But, what if you don’t see yourself fitting into any of these categories? What if you like to eat meat but aren’t a devotee like the carnivore? Perhaps you have decided your relationship with meat and animal products will be an occasional encounter. Maybe you only have seafood once in two months, dairy here and there and red meat once a week? You, my dear friend, may just be a reducetarian.

What Is It?

Devised by Brian Kateman, the term ‘reducetarian’ refers to the act of dropping the meat and animal product portion of your meals by at least 10 per cent. Animal products here referring to dairy, milk, eggs and seafood. The idea of eating less meat isn’t a novel one. I’m sure your physician, dietician or WHO has told you this, countless of times. But Kateman coined the new phrase to cater to a new conscious group of eaters. Having tried vegetarianism and fallen off the wagon a number of times, he decided it was time to create a new name that illustrates their good intentions, without opening them up to shame and ridicule.

Instead of the all or nothing approach the vegans preach, reducetarianism wants its followers to become more blatantly conscious of what they’re incorporating into their diet on a day-to-day basis. What makes it easier to subscribe to is the fact that it is tailored to the individual. That, and it’s inclusive of everyone; despite your motive to cut back on meat.

The reducetarian movement started out as an environmental initiative. As we’re all aware meat production has been linked to soil ruination, animal cruelty, increased carbon dioxide emission, and the immense strain on water resources. In his book ‘The Reducetarian Solution’, Kateman presents over 50 essays showing that by just cutting as little as 10 per cent from your meals, you could be helping the animals and the overall environment. He also shows that you benefit directly too, thanks to the health benefits you’ll achieve by eating less meat.

Why Should You Make the Switch?

Thankfully, there aren’t many rules to this lifestyle change. It’s little changes you’ll make to your daily routine that will add up for a healthier body. Studies have shown that a more vegetable and fruit-oriented diet reduces the risk of getting high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes. Eating less meat will help with your weight-loss goals by reducing the number of calories that you consume.

Externally, eating less meat demands less volume from the meat industry. Countless of reports, such as the ‘Livestock’s Long Shadow’ by the Food and Agricultural Organisation have proven that maintaining human’s appetite for burger patties and steaks directly contributes to global climate change. Livestock reared for slaughter are responsible for approximately 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases affecting our climate. That’s more than all our transportation forms put together! Not to mention the waste products such as fertilizer run off into water systems and soil, contaminating them. Let’s not even get into what the grazing is doing to the earth.

Perhaps what will most resonate with you is that you can’t stand for any living thing to be mistreated. A lot of meat industries are not very keen on animal welfare and concentrate on volumes and profit margins. You need only watch one or two videos from animal rights organisations to see that your hot dog, may have needlessly been bludgeoned to death, and not got the quick and painless send-off you thought it received.

Perhaps motives like your health, the earth or animals aren’t speaking to you. Will saving money do the trick? Eating meat at every meal tends to be a pricey luxury of life. Look at this month’s budget for example, and add up all the meat and animal products you’ve consumed. Now choose to swap out just one meal, making it plant-based for a month, and see the difference.

Ideas on How To Start

Why not get yourself Katman’s book to learn everything you can on the movement. It comes complete with several recipes to help you along this change. You can also start following popular Instagram and social media accounts that are dedicated to reducetarianism for ideas and daily motivation. Great thing is that this information will be free.

Next step would be to set your objectives, making them as realistic as possible. Look at your lifestyle, and see what initial changes would easily be accepted. Some easy pledges for beginner reducetarians include:

  • No Meat Mondays – Plant-based style meals for dinner every Monday.
  • VB6 – Eating like a strict vegan before 6pm. Then when the sun goes down you’re free to nip at whatever suits your fancy.
  • Weekday vegetarian – A little hardcore but you can start by making only one or two meals fully plant-based and then build up from there.

Meatless Fridays – Cut out meat whole day, Fridays. However, meat here represents both white and red meat, or you can choose to make it all animal products.

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