I love animals. I love meat. Welcome to the dilemma that is my life or at least, the one it was. I have found the middle ground. Thanks to a TED talk and a wonderful movement called Reducetarianism. Being a reducetarian is committing to eating less meat without completely cutting it off from your diet. This is still better than having a primarily meat based diet and helps people not completely lose their favourite things to eat.
It has been three months and I can count the several times I’ve consumed meat. I am what you’d call a Weekday Vegetarian. How did I get here?
A couple of months ago, I was talking to a friend who said something about dogs being cute, irrespective of them being stray or pets. Upon which, I commented that every animal was beautiful in their own right and it wasn’t just the common pet-worthy ones, that even cows or chickens were adorable. I genuinely believed so too. I still believe it. He immediately retorted with something that did hit my conscience hard in that moment. He asked me a simple question, “If that is so, then why do you eat them?”
It’s not like this question has come up for the first time, however, this time I felt that my food chain argument was hollow like the fifteen-year-old who made it up. So, I started thinking upon it. I did not eat any form of meat for a week but that was short-lived because since meat is a big part of my diet, I appreciate it and giving it up completely is not a possible solution for me. At least not now.
Then, I stumbled upon the following TED talk by Graham Hill.
I was immediately on board. Literally. I started my Weekday Vegetarianism right from the next day.
Those around me reacted unexpectedly though. It was contempt. It was ridicule. I guess people don’t understand or value effort.
Two Days Per Week For The Rest of My Life
Since this is a personal choice. I have kept it flexible enough for me. If I go out during the week, I switch it with my Saturday and thus, I eat vegetarian food on that particular Saturday. All in all, I have only had meat on roughly 26% days in the last three months. That is an extremely low figure for someone who consumed meat, in some form, on a daily basis.
I also felt that I got more used to the vegetarian diet and I also discovered some very amazing offerings which I would’ve never had in places I’m a regular visitor to so there’s that.
The fact that this experiment with my life was successful as well makes me extremely happy. Perhaps, I’ll try cutting it down to a day per week but I’m obviously not going back for now. My love for animals is an utmost priority and I don’t see the need to prove it here but as Graham joked in the talk, I too cannot imagine my last (chicken) burger. At least not now.