Cold Turkey? Try 'reducetarianism'

22 December by Miriam Heale


The environmental, health and animal welfare benefits of a meat-free diet are well known - but convincing people to forgo the Christmas turkey or pigs-in-blankets is a big ask.

Therefore in the New Year, there might be a better way, one campaigner says. Instead of advocating vegetarianism, he is encouraging people to drastically cut down on eating meat without cutting it out completely. He calls it "reducetarianism".

"We're at a place in society where very few people are vegan or vegetarian," said Brian Kateman, an American researcher who co-founded the Reducetarian Foundation.

In a bid to move the trend forward Kateman is suggesting cutting down on meat eating, not giving it up entirely.

Campaigns such as 'Vegan Before 6', and 'Weekday vegetarian' as well as 'Meat Free Mondays' - supported by celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paul McCartney - are part of a growing movement to eat less meat.

Getting a meat lover to halve their consumption does more good than getting an occasional carnivore to abstain completely, Kateman says.  He also thinks cutting down may be a step to eventual abstinence.

"If I am going to eat meat, I try to make it something that's rare, something that's special, and certainly whenever I have meat, it's a much smaller portion," said Kateman, who currently eats meat around once a week or less

Find out more about reducetarianism