Vegetarianism, veganism, flexitarianism, and pescetarianism are the best known zero- or reduced-meat lifestyles. But there is another regimen on the block that could boost your physical and mental health while enabling you to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s called reducetarianism and it essentially involves reducing the number of animal products (meat, eggs and dairy) you consume.
So, what are the tenets of this movement and how can it contribute to a healthier, happier you?
Embracing Plant-Based Alternatives
The world is currently undergoing a ‘protein transformation’, owing in no small part to the fact that the meat and dairy industries account for around 14.5% of all global greenhouse emissions.
If the planet is to meet its Paris Agreement target (that of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C), we need to make big changes to our diet.
As reported by the Boston Consulting Group, by 2035, 11% of the ‘meat’, ‘seafood’, ‘eggs’, and ‘dairy products’ we consume will not actually be animal-derived but rather, they will be alternative, plant-based products.
The latter will effectively imitate the taste and texture of animal products and might actually be cheaper.
Saving the Oceans
If you enjoy the benefits of swimming and sea or ocean swimming is your thing, then reducetarianism is an excellent way to keep your favorite swimming spots in great condition.
Currently, the world’s oceans are being overfished and emptied of life, as found by One Green Planet. Researchers predict that by 2048, all fisheries will have collapsed because of the loss of biodiversity owing to overfishing, pollution, global warming, ocean acidification, and more.
Embracing reducetarianism can reduce the amount of toxins in our oceans, so human beings can continue to swim in them.
It’s good news considering that swimming is a relaxing workout that boosts the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Moreover, people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy it.
Reducetarianism as an Alternative to the All-or-Nothing Approach
Those who want to improve their health and lead an eco-friendlier lifestyle but who aren’t ready to commit to veganism can embrace reducetarianism as a bridge to a plant-based lifestyle.
Those who do not want to progress to a fully vegan way of living, meanwhile, can still benefit themselves and the environment in a major way (especially if many reducetarians do their share at once).
Many who reduce their meat consumption learn that there is a wide array of delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes that are quick to make, as well as affordable and delicious.
How can Reducetarianism Improve Human Health?
Reducetarianism can help you reap the many benefits of a plant-based diet. These include a lower likelihood of cancer and heart disease, lower body weight, and the possibility of reducing medications to treat chronic diseases.
It can also help keep depression at bay, since studies have shown that high-fiber diets boost gut health. The mind-gut connection is a powerful thing, with studies showing that a healthy gut microbiome is linked to a lower presence of depression.
If you have always been attracted to the plant-based way of living, you may decide to try reducetarianism to see if it suits you.
This approach involves reducing your reliance on animal products, without necessarily giving them up completely. Reducetarianism can help boost your gut health and lower the risk of developing diseases associated with a carnivore diet.
Article by Jennifer Alli
Photo by Lisa Fotios, Pexels