I’m considering posting a series of TED Talks and videos that have to do with veganism, nutrition/health or anything else that seems relevant. They help me think through my ideas and open my mind to other arguments. This one in particular, “Ending the battle between vegans, vegetarians and everyone else” has produced a satisfying dialogue with others in my life.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of the title of this TED talk. I don’t agree with everything he’s saying. I don’t like that the speaker doesn’t even consider animal rights as a reason to go vegan, mentioning only health and climate change. At one point, he claims that rates of people identifying as vegan hasn’t risen in a number of years, but according to my research this identity has at the very least doubled in the last decade or so. However, he does bring up an interesting argument for a new term: reducetarian.
This term would be able to unite all people who identify as those seeking to reduce their intake of meat and/or animal products: vegetarians, pescatarians, vegans and even meat eaters who don’t identify as anything. This term is not rigid, meaning no one would technically be left out so long as they aimed to reduce their consumption of meat. My thoughts?
Honestly, my first gut reaction was somewhat negative, after all I don’t want to promote complacency. However, I do find that it has a number of advantages that can’t be ignored.
As a new term, it opens dialogue. People might ask what it means, why the new term might exist and if they think it’s a useful term. In other words, it forces people to think and talk about eating animals. And there is no denying that is helpful to raising awareness. It’s all about creating dialogue.
On the other hand, it’s a new term people are unfamiliar with. It’s confusing. Perhaps it could even draw people away from becoming vegetarian or vegan by encouraging complacency. I’ve thought a lot about this argument, but ultimately I think that it wouldn’t cause an adverse impact. After all, vegans still exist even though to be a vegetarian is a more popular, and easier, option. Most of the vegans I’ve met were first vegetarians. It’s often a lot easier to evolve in steps. It’s hard to go from being a meat eater to full blown vegan….I imagine. Full disclosure: I’ve never actually eaten meat! I was raised vegetarian. Perhaps this term could help people transition to becoming vegetarian…hopefully it will be a gateway into veganism.
I hope it could encourage a cultural shift away from eating animals and animal byproducts, make it more normal. Unfortunately, veganism has some elitist associations that hope will lessen with time and with more people driven towards this lifestyle.
I’m a vegan who writes about veganism. While I recognize not all people can be vegan, I want a whole lot more to join in. I want to see the cultural shift towards plant based diets. Watching this video gave me a lot of mixed feelings. But I’ve found the dialogue and ideas it has brought up to be valuable enough to share. What do you think?
Check out the video:”Ending the battle between vegans, vegetarians and everyone else” below: