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What We Mean When We Say 'Less Meat, Better Meat'

There are many terms for the practice: flexitarian, reducetarian, weekday vegetarians, Meatless Mondayer, quasi-veg. But what seems evident is that the "less meat, better meat" strategy is taking hold of our collective conscious. So, what does "less meat, better meat" really mean?

The Less Meat, Better Meat Strategy

It's no secret that industrialized meat production is resource-intensive and damaging to the environment. The demand for cheap meat has resulted in a system which exploits animals, laborers and ecosystems. A collective shift toward a less meat-heavy and more plant-based diet could benefit the environment, not to mention animal welfare, public health and local economies. Everyone has their own food traditions and preferences, so vegetarianism and veganism, while being terrific options for some, are not necessarily viable for all. But if you're concerned about the issues surrounding industrialized meat production, try eating a little less meat (or a lot less) and fewer animal products. When you do choose to eat meat, try to purchase from farmers who raise animals humanely and sustainably when you can.

It's Not an All or Nothing Proposition

Eating "less meat," can be a spectrum - from those who eat meat once a day or once a week, to those who choose not to eat meat at all, to those who abstain from all animal products (such as dairy and eggs). Heavy meat eaters can reduce their consumption by moving meat off to the edge of a vegetable-centered dish (such as a vegetable stir-fry with a little added meat), or by replacing a five ounce portion of meat with a three ounce one. Simply by taking a day off from meat (like with Meatless Monday) a person can decrease their meat consumption by one-seventh, or by nearly 15 percent! This can have the effect of decreasing the problems associated with industrial meat production and consumption by about the same quantity.

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