Reducetarian, not vegetarian

I like a good steak. I really, really like a good steak. I order it rare. Other members of my family order it blue. And my grandfather used to eat his almost raw, instructing the griller, “just restore the body heat”, which, let’s be honest, is a really gross way to order food. That’s the kind of carnivores I come from. Tartare? Yes. Oh yes.

And I love animals, really really really. Animal rights? Makes me sick. My first exposure to the ghastliness of the industrial meat issue was Sue Coe’s terrifying book Dead Meat, which I read in 1996. More recently we watched the documentary Food, Inc. with the kids, probably the first horror movie they’ve seen. As the years have passed we’ve become more and more aware of the terrible things required to produce industrially farmed meat–through movies, articles, books the rise of various organizations promoting animal rights, even The Smiths album Meat is Murder.

As investors, we’ve looked at– and sampled–a lot of alternative protein products: classics like Tofurkey, Garden burgers and Boca Burgers. Second wave meat alternatives like Soylent, Beyond Meat, and we always get an Impossible Burger at Gott’s at the airport before boarding flights. We’ve eaten crickets, witchetty grubs, a vast array of soy products pretending to be meat, fake meat comprised of mushrooms and beets, and bland, frightening and generally unidentified frankenfood.

I am a failed vegetarian. My efforts to eliminate meat from my diet made me realize how anemic I was: I wasn’t good about taking my vitamins or making sure I had a good source of iron. I fainted several times, and ended my stint as a vegetarian when I entered a kind of fugue state and found myself sitting at the counter of Jackson Hole Burgers eating a 7 oz. burger. That is not a small amount of meat. But what’s a woke carnivore to do?

Reduce. Our kids call themselves not vegetarians–they still like the occasional slice of bacon–but reducetarians. Say it out loud: it sounds better than it looks. And it makes sense doesn’t it? I remember the short TED talk by Graham Hill in which is proposed to be a “weekday vegetarian” which is along reducetarian lines. Just eat less.

This is the future of food. Millennials are all on board, and leading the charge. 70% of the world population reportedly is either reducing meat consumption or leaving meat off the table altogether, according to market research from GlobalData, who works with 4000 consumer brands.

I really struggle with this, I’m a true carnivore. Some people have told me it’s my blood type, and maybe I need to take my vitamins. But it’s getting easier and easier for us woke carnivores to

like we’ve wanted to.

2 thoughts on “Reducetarian, not vegetarian

  1. Good for you, Caterina!

    Less meat is a “master strategy” to lessen our impact on the planet. People are shocked to learn that eating less meat is the best possible way to reduce water use! It takes 1750 gallons of water to produce 1 lb of boneless beef (according the the Water Footprint Network who think about such things). So, one less meal of beef every quarter would offset a typical family’s water use for… wait for it… an entire year! One can quibble about the math, the whole “offset” idea and such, but the negative impact of meat is clear. An quite actionable.

    I too love a good steak. Beef Wellington remains a favorite holiday treat. (Carnivores look here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdavid/2156536753/in/photolist-4hyPfa-6eN9dg-fJNY3N-eFeWH-2X9v1k ) But we have cut our consumption way back.

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