Where do you stand in the moral landscape of your dinner plate? How you fill the space between your fork and knife can be highly criticized depending on your meal of choice — whether the decision’s been made for your personal health, conscience of your environmental impact, or for animal humaneness.
Brian Kateman explores the world of veganism, vegetarianism, meat-eaters, and introduces to us a new term — “reducetarianism.” After he coined the newest eating-habit label, he painted a picture of an ideal world where we were all vegetarians. He quickly reminded the audience that it was a romantic ideal, but there are ways to reduce human damage to the earth, and it’s as simple as just being aware and lowering meat intake.
“We all know vegans and vegetarians, the modern-day pioneers abstaining from meat are onto something, even if we ourselves choose to eat eggs or meat,” Kateman said in a TedxTalk that aired in November. “We know our planet is in trouble, and we know that meat production from the clearing of lands and trees to the transportation of these products, accounts for nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. That is why a vegetarian’s footprint is nearly half that of a meat lover’s. And for a vegan, it’s even lower.”
The environmental reasons people choose to abstain from meat has a significant amount of factual groundwork laid out to support them already.
“We also know meat production requires a lot of water,” Kateman said. “Producing just 1 pound of meat protein requires 10 times the amount of water as producing grain protein. That’s a lot of water.”