Rather than go cold turkey (oops, Tofurky) by cutting out meat completely, some people prefer dabbling in vegetarianism. A “flexitarian” is someone who actively integrates meatless meals into his or her diet when possible but isn’t a full-time vegetarian, according to The Humane Society of the United States. Some vegetarian leaders are in favor of the diet.
“Helping animals and the planet isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition requiring dramatic overnight changes. Simply by eating fewer animals, we can each take positive steps that prevent cruelty,” said Paul Shapiro, Senior Director of the Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) Factory Farming Campaign.
Compass Group, the largest food service company in the world, worked with HSUS to develop an initiative called “Be a Flexitarian,” to immediately expand and promote meatless meal options. Their Facebook page has nearly 4,000 fans.
Bryan Pease, Esq., Chairman of the Board at Animal Protection & Rescue League (APRL) and one of San Diego’s vegetarian leaders, also supports the diet.
“Anything that causes people to reduce and eventually eliminate consumption of animal products is a very good thing. There are huge social pressures that make it difficult to declare that everything everyone is doing around you is wrong and that you are a vegetarian. If large numbers of people accept the benefits of eating vegetarian some of the time, a logical progression will be for many more people to become completely vegetarian and vegan. Additionally, it may be easier to convince two people to cut their meat intake in half than to convince one person to go completely vegetarian, so this path could be a faster way to weaken and dismantle the meat industry,” Pease said.
Along with APRL, which helps people make dietary transitions involving more vegan and vegetarian cuisine, there is a new meetup group for flexitarians in San Diego. Amazon.com also offers folks living all over the world several cookbooks on the flexitarian diet.