The rise of the flexitarian

By  | April 19, 2015

Cheeseburger-loving flexitarians are driving a vegan boom—to the ire of some

When Annabelle Randles’s friends throw dinner parties, they’re unsure whether to invite her. When she attends vegan trade shows to represent By Nature, her U.K.-based organic-products online store, and tells her customers she’s not vegan, she gets strange looks. And when she posts recipes with meat on her blog, The Flexitarian, she feels the wrath of her hard-core vegetarian readers. “You need to tread lightly,” she says.

Randles, as the name of her blog implies, is among the growing ranks of people who consciously reduce their meat consumption without cutting it out entirely. “Omnivores don’t really understand,” says Randles, who grew up in a carnivorous French family before adopting a flex diet several years ago. Its allure: Eat healthier, prevent animal suffering and fight climate change without the awkwardness of requesting alternative dishes at social events or sacrificing the occasional bacon cheeseburger. “Sometimes you meet people and explain. They have this blank look and then they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s what I am!’ ”

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