What is a REDUCETARIAN and Am I One?

When I came across an article on the "reducetarian movement," I chuckled (another movement?!)... and felt invigorated.

    From ages 17-25 I was a vegetarian. But one night at a cookout after having a few beers those grilled chicken legs looked and smelled really good. I had endured months of being surrounded by meat-eaters with my then-husband, Jose. In my inebriated state I caved; I ate chicken legs and loved them.

    Since then I've been eating meat... conscientiously

    I do not eat pork for example.
   When I worked for AFLAC years ago I had an open enrollment at Purdue Sausage Factory. After finishing my enrollments I said I wanted to see where the pigs were killed. 
    "Are you sure?" asked the employee.
    "Yes, I can handle it. I want to see what it's really like," I said. 
      So he walked me down to the factory where the large pigs were brought to the slaughter line, via a conveyor belt. They didn't even get to walk into the building from the trucks. There was a long line of pigs I could see coming through the plastic flap doors (like the ones at the airport where luggage comes out). The pigs were just standing there, on the belt, in the line, waiting their turn to die. I looked into pigs' eyes and thought I should feel something. And I guess I did feel something since I haven't eaten pork since, and that was 11 years ago! 
    First the pigs were shocked/zapped with a handheld device, they would fall over and thrash around, as if having seizures, then roll down the conveyor belt a few feet to have their throats slashed. Then they were hung up by their hind legs to bleed out. It wasn't pretty.

If your freezer looks like this (see the ground beef hidden back there), you're a reducetarian!


I am aware of all the reasons not to eat meat. 

The environmental impacts of meat consumption are staggering:

-51% or more of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, per the Worldwatch Institute.
-It takes 2400< gallons of water to produce just 1 lb. of beef, per WWF.
-30% of the world's ice-free surface is used to support the chickens, pigs and cattle we eat, per Time magazine. 

How eating meat affects your overall health is a controversial topic, and one we won't delve into much in this blog. 

    However, most experts agree moderation is best
And, it's a fact processed meats are a known "group 1 carcinogen" (source cruk.org).

The question for myself, and perhaps much of the country is: as conscientious human beings, knowing the toll meat consumption takes on animals, our planet and our health, why the heck are we still eating meat?!

    And the answer is disturbingly simple: it's easy. When you're out and about, busy, hungry, is it easier to pull through a McDonald's drive thru and get a $1 McChicken or find a Whole Foods to get a tofu curry salad off the buffet line? 

    Meat is relatively cheap and abundant in this country. This is the case because our government subsidizes it, big time
    As, David Simon, author of Meatonomics points out, "The American government spends $38 billion each year to subsidize the meat and dairy industries, but only 0.04 percent of that (i.e., $17 million) each year to subsidize fruits and vegetables."

    I know too much about meat consumption to not feel guilty about eating it! That's what all this boils down to, on a personal level. 

    So, when I read about the Reducetarian Movement, a movement that embraces all individuals trying to eat less meat, whether that be via 'daytime veganism, Meatless Mondays, pork-free, no processed meats, veggie crumbles oppose to ground beef...' it's all good per the reducetarian movement... as long as you're making a conscientious effort to decrease your meat and/or poultry consumption. 

    I see vegans as living on a higher level than the rest of us. 

   I see them as more evolved and hold them in the highest regard. If they seem a little cocky at times, in my opinion, they have the right to be and I applaud them for pushing the rest of us to evolve more. 

    That being said, criticism or shunning people rarely accomplishes the intended result so, I think we all have a lot to learn from the positive, accepting style of the Reducetarian Movement. What will you do to commit to reduce?

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