Vegetarian, Vegan…and Now Reductian

      Reductionism is a lifestyle that focuses on eating less meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs, regardless of quality or motivation. The concept is considered attractive because not everyone is ready to follow the all-or-nothing diet. However, reductionism includes vegans, vegetarians, and anyone who reduces the amount of animal products in their diet.

Unlike drinking alcohol, exercising, and cooking at home, vegetarianism is viewed by society as dark and white sides. You are either a vegetarian or you are not. Do not eat meat for a year – you are a vegetarian. Do not drink milk for a couple of months – vegan. Ate a piece of cheese – failed.

According to , there were more vegans in 2016 than 10 years ago. Over 1,2 million people in the UK are vegetarians. A YouGov poll found that 25% of people in the UK have reduced their meat intake. Despite this, many still hold on to the idea that eating less meat means eating nothing.

The formal definition of the Vegan Society is: “Veganism is a way of life that aims to eliminate all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, and any other purpose, as far as possible.” However, it seems to us that people understand it a little differently: “Veganism is a way of life that excludes anyone who likes to add milk to tea, and ruthlessly condemns every element of life until a person gives up and starts wearing cannabis.”

“But that’s not true,” says Brian Kathman. We make choices about food every day. A friend once gave me the book The Ethics of What We Eat (Peter Singer and Jim Mason) while I was eating a hamburger. I read it and just couldn’t believe that farms and meat factories are responsible for climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as an increase in cancer, obesity and heart disease. If people cut their meat consumption even by 10%, that would already be a huge win.”

Cutman grew up eating steaks and buffalo wings, but one day he decided to become a vegetarian. When his sister suggested eating a small piece of Thanksgiving turkey, he explained his decision by saying that he wanted to be “perfect.”

“I’m more interested in results than processes,” he says. “When people eat less meat, it’s not some kind of badge, not a social status, but it has a significant impact on the world.”

The philosophy of Kathman certainly seems attractive. But is it really possible to consider yourself humane, principled and still have a piece of meat pie?

“The main premise of reducers is that vegans and vegetarians who have successfully reduced animal consumption are part of the same spectrum as people who are unhappy with factory farming,” says Kathman. “It’s specifically about moderation for omnivores.”

In addition to publishing the book, the Reducer Foundation organized its own summit in New York. The organization has many videos, recipes and a space where supporters of the new movement can post their publications. Moreover, the organization has its own laboratory, which conducts research on how best to reduce meat consumption.

The rise of “neo-hippies” has become fashionable, not just well-intentioned. However, the percentage of “loud” people is quite small. Most vegans and vegetarians are tolerant and balanced people who understand that we must be pragmatic about this. At least somehow change something in the diet – this is the way.

According to reductionists, not eating meat is an achievement. But eating it periodically is not a failure. You cannot “fail” or “relapse” if you want to do something for yourself. And you are not a hypocrite if you do everything possible to give up something completely. So are reducers vegans without willpower? Or are they just doing what they can do?


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