Reducetarianism: The dietary group for those who want to eat less meat but not go vegetarian

Founder of the movement talks to The Independent about why he wants to change the conversation surrounding veganism, vegetarianism and even meat-consumption

Olivia Blair
Friday 05 May 2017 12:13 BST

Undoubtedly, you have heard of vegans, pescetarians, vegetarians and flexitarians. The list goes on. Now, one man has come up with a new dietary group all aimed at lowering the amount of meat humans consume without abolishing it all from your diet: reducetarianism.

As suggested by the name, a reducetarian is somebody who is mindful about reducing the amount of meat, seafood and dairy products they eat regardless of why they are doing it.

Over the past decade, veganism has increased in the UK by 360 per cent. Meat free Mondays, vegetarian week and veganuary are all well-known initiatives and more and more people are switching to dairy alternatives like almond, hazelnut and coconut milk, to name a few.

The Reducetarian Foundation says the concept is appealing because many people are aware they need to eat less animal products but the idea of an “all-or-nothing” diet like veganism puts them off.

“I started the movement to breakdown the false dichotomy of vegan and omnivore and to create a world in which all people eat fewer animal products,” founder Brian Kateman told The Independent. “Eating less meat is one of the most important actions we can take in improving our health, mitigating climate change, and reducing animal suffering.”

Kateman claims the movement has “millions” of followers around the world encompassing vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters who are just trying to eat a little less meat.

Brian Kateman, author of The Reducetarian Solution
Brian Kateman, author of The Reducetarian Solution (Andrei Severny)

Originally a vegetarian, Kateman found he would “fall off the bandwagon”, particularly in social situations, and then his friends or family would joke that he is not a true veggie. Kateman says his point was that meat consumption should not be all-or-nothing and that every plant-based meal should be celebrated, saying he wanted to steer the conversation away from cheating vegans or lazy vegetarians towards a more positive dialogue.

Despite the all-encompassing message of reducetarianism, Kateman says he is aware that people who eat less meat are more likely to go vegetarian and vegetarians are likely to go vegan.

He aims to encourage more people to adopt the reducetarian lifestyle by making it easier for people to eat less meat and change the messages about why people should do so, not just focusing on one issue like animal welfare.

“We know people choose food primarily based on price, convenience, and taste, so we work to support plant-based and cultured alternatives in the marketplace, as their increasing popularity will make it easier for people to eat less meat,” he says. “We rely on mixed messaging as some people will be motivated by health concerns whereas others will be motivated by environmental issues and others by animal welfare concerns.”

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