The book "The Reducetarian Solution" by Brian Kateman came to my attention when I saw people in vegan groups online bashing it. I'm not sure people had even read the book, but they seemed offended by the premise of the book, and so they attacked. Their fierce opposition to the book made me want to read it. Whether or not I was going to like the book was beside the point. What was at stake for me was that I know what the message is in those pages so that I know whether it's good or bad, and so that I know how to respond when I hear vegans bashing it. When I saw it the library I snatched it up to see what the buzz was about!
I finished reading "The Reducetarian Solution" today. As someone who has been a vegetarian (primarily vegan) for going on 22 years, I am always interested in tactics that will raise awareness and get people to cut back or stop eating animals so much. I'm not the vegan police or a militant type vegan that only celebrates when someone becomes vegan. Shoot, I know too many people who over the years went vegetarian or vegan, were really fired up about animal abuse, and then a year or two later were back being full fledged meat eaters. I've seen it a lot and the research shows that most vegetarians and vegans do go back to eating animals. I'm the type of person who tries to lead by example, provide education where and when people are open to it, introduce delicious vegan food to people, and I try to not offend people by the choices they make (offending the usually shuts them down, so your message is lost).
I'd love for people to see the environmental, health, and animal compassion reasons for not eating meat and want to go vegetarian or vegan, but it's not likely that the masses will do that in my lifetime. That type of wishful thinking is not reality based, unfortunately. Getting people to reduce their meat consumption is the next logical step, and it's one that millions of people will likely be open to. I think every meal that people reach for plant based foods over animal based ones is a good move, so it's great to motivate people to make more plant based meal decisions. Personally, I don't know anyone at the moment who wants to go vegan, but I know a handful of people who regularly speak to me about how they are reducing their meat consumption. They are trying plant based options, asking me for recommendations, and seeking out new vegan recipes. Without the pressure that it's all or nothing (being vegan or forget it), they are making positive changes. These positive changes that are headed in the right direction add up and benefit the animals, planet, and their own health.
Some of the essays were a little dull and some had repeat information, but overall I did enjoy reading them. I recognized numerous authors of the essays from books that I've read of theirs. One cannot read this book and come away feeling good about eating meat. The idea of being a reducetarian gives people the anchor they need to feel safe as they try to increase their plant based food consumption thus crowding out the meat. The message in this book is loud and clear, which is that eating meat is horrible for the animals, planet, and human health. The book touches on environmental reasons to reduce meat, compassion reasons, and health reasons.
I think this book has the power to make a great impact and get millions of people to reduce their meat consumption. For that, I say that I like it and that it's well worth reading. Reducetarianism has the ability to do a lot of good and be a stepping stone that leads a lot of people to vegetarianism and veganism. It gets people headed it the right direction and being aware of how their food choices impact animals, the planet, and their health.
When you see the vegan police bashing this book, ask them if they have actually read it, or if they have merely judged a book by its cover. Because the resounding message throughout this book is that meat is bad for the animals, planet, and health, and that's a message that the vegan police and others can all agree upon!