Opinion: The problem with Veganuary, meat-free Mondays and Dry July

Is reducetarianism the ethical answer?
Is reducetarianism the ethical answer? Photo credit: Getty

OPINION: We live in an age of self-improvement and identity politics. From your diet to your mindfulness to your attitude to bike lanes, everyone needs a stance and it'd better be the right one.

The movement de l'année is the push to eat less meat. Meat-free Mondays, Veganuary and now World Ethical Eating Day - which is today. Put down the rib, step away from the barbeque, and meet your meat.

But this all-or-nothing approach is a set up. One slip - that lone bacon butty on a hungover morning - you will be a carnivore and a failure.

So may I present an alternative? Meet 'reducetarianism'.

Welcome to the movement for failed vegetarians, self-flagellating meat eaters, the moderates, the self-regulators and the live-and-let-lives.

Yes, the term is cringey. And it hardly rolls off the tongue.

But there's no denying that reducetarianism is a reasonable call in this age of the self-righteous and the over-opinionated.

Reducetarians aim to cut back their animal intake rather than eliminate it altogether. It's more pragmatic than the zero tolerance approach, and more than forgives all those doomed first-year varsity attempts at vegetarianism.

The movement says its members are "committed to eating less meat, dairy and eggs, regardless of the degree or motivation."

The key point is, you don't have to give anything up. And when anything goes, you can't fail. Reducetarianism allows you to shrink your waistline and the grocery bill, and give the animals a break. And if it makes you feel a little better about your impact on this world, then that's a win too.

It's the movement that allows you to jump half on-board the bandwagon, and never bore anyone with what you had for lunch again.

There are plenty of good reasons to not eat meat. Ethics, health, and environmentalism to start. Maybe you just don't want the animals to die for you. But the beef with vegans and other such movements is their enduring desire to bang on about it.

Your menu choices do not have to define you, and I need to hear about your lunch like I need a hole in the head. So cut the outrage and the chat, and just eat a little less animal.

Maggie Wicks is a senior Newshub digital producer.