The arguments for vegetarianism are gaining traction all over the world, however cutting meat out of the diet entirely remains a challenge for most people who have grown up with an omnivorous diet. This creates a strange new dichotomy of people who are sympathetic to the health, environmental or ethical reasons for vegetarianism but not enough to adopt it entirely. For this reason, many are taking up what is called a flexitarian diet, which essentially means reducing meat intake in favour of more vegetarian choices.
Several of the major factors contributing to the uptake in a flexitarian diet are the health benefits of eating a more plant-filed diet, as well as growing awareness about climate change. With cholesterol rates and diseases derived from excess salt and fats soaring, switching to more vegetables is a simple way to improve health, even if you still have meat regularly. The general public is beginning to understand more of the unpleasant facts of meat production, and this also contributes to why some wish to cut down.
Reducing Meat Consumption
Flexitarianism has been viewed slightly uncharitably by some as a half-baked attempt at vegetarianism that shouldn’t even come under the dietary umbrella. However, others recognise that all change in reducing modern society’s meat consumption is good change. Cutting down on meat is still better than doing nothing at all and, over time, some flexitarians will find themselves naturally excluding meat entirely.
Market Demand For Vegetarian Products
The increase of people pursuing a more vegetarian-based lifestyle is a good thing for other strict followers of the diet. Like the recent surge in gluten-free foods available, the more something is in demand the more business will cater to it. Flexitarians will buy vegetarian products and will more often make an effort to eat vegetarian while out, so their contribution to consumer demand is no less important than the vegetarian purists’. It expands influence, and increases the market for vegetarian products.
Although some vegetarian purists may resent grouping them with vegetarians at all, flexitarians are bringing positive changes to the vegetarian community, creating more choice, stronger consumer demand and greater awareness.
If there really was growing awareness to the ‘unpleasant facts about meat production’ then these people would not still be eating meat on occasion. Someone cannot support inhumane practises when they have honestly awoken to their own injustices. More awareness should be cultivated in these people to get them to go vege permanently!
I just can’t stand people who call themselves ‘vegetarians’ when they cut down their meat consumption. Perhaps these flexitarians are to blame.
So eating how much meat makes you a flexitarian? If you cut down from 6 meat burgers to 5 does this count? Cruelty is still cruelty. If you still see animals as objects to be eaten, abused and oppressed, I don’t see any benefit to society.
Anything that creates demand and gets more vegetarian products on the shelves is good for the Kiwi community as a whole. I hadn’t heard of this term before, but hopefully it means more and more people are switching on to the dark side of meat eating.
A delicate subject! I know a number of vegans that don’t agree with the consumption of animal products on any terms, but on the other hand it’s obvious that an overall reduction of meat eating by a larger percentage of the population has to be a good thing.