I first became aware of the word “reducetarian” through a primatologist and animal advocate named Barbara J King. She had been hashtagging it on Twitter and I was curious as to what exactly was meant by such a concept. Through some light google research, I came across www.reducetarian.org, the home of the Reducetarian Foundation, and quickly realized the movement’s core goals and mission perfectly aligned with thoughts I hadn’t fully developed, but had been stewing for quite a while.
I have been a vegetarian for almost a decade, and throughout the years, I have held various motivations for the why of it, originally foregoing meat for the sake of the environment, but adding layers as I have gone along, such as resisting the cruel way the livestock industry treats both its animals and human employees. When I was first starting out, I loftily judged those around me who didn’t eschew the industry along with me (ahh the arrogant naïveté of teenagers). However, as I’ve learned more about the cultural and emotional ties that people have to food, I’ve realized maybe the problems of the current animal agriculture system can’t be solved with such black and white thinking.
Enter the reducetarian movement
According to redecetarian.org, reducetarians believe that any contribution to reducing harm is laudable. They understand that regardless of a person’s motivation for cutting down their consumption of animal products, their active reduction will make a positive difference in reducing all the harm associated with mass production of animal goods, including environmental destruction, poor working conditions, animal cruelty, and health issues associated with eating copious amounts of meat. Sounds pretty simple, right?
Are you a reducetarian?
There are an abundance of ways you can get into the reducetarian movement. Try giving #MeatlessMondays a try, and share what you cook on your social media profile! Maybe next time you go to a restaurant, be adventurous and opt for the vegetarian option. You might be surprised at how rich the possibilities of plant-based cooking can be! If going an entire day without animal products is too daunting or inconvenient, you can make an effort to swap out one meal with a plant-based option. The possibilities are limitless! The best part about being a reducetarian is that there is no wrong way to do it. No effort is too small to make a difference.
Let me know in the comments ways you plan to incorporate the reducetarian ethos into your daily life!