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Young people are embracing a new 'reducetarian' food movement — here's what that means

"The overconsumption of meat, eggs, and dairy is destroying the environment."

"The overconsumption of meat, eggs, and dairy is destroying the environment."

Photo Credit: iStock

Nearly 600 people met in Denver, Colorado, recently for the Reducetarian Foundation's fifth annual conference to talk about everything from agricultural science to new types of artificial meat and to discuss ways of getting other people to reduce their meat consumption. 

What are reducetarians?

The mission of the Reducetarian Foundation is, according to the organization's website, "to improve human health, protect the environment, and spare farm animals from cruelty by reducing societal consumption of animal products."

The foundation focuses on the message that people do not have to cut out meat entirely, such as going fully vegetarian or vegan, to impact our planet positively, but instead just to reduce the amount of meat they consume regularly.

🗣️ Why do you eat plant-based foods?

🔘 The health benefits 🥗

🔘 It's cheaper 💰

🔘 It's good for the planet 🌎

🔘 I prefer the taste 😋

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

Why is eating less meat important?

"The overconsumption of meat, eggs, and dairy is destroying the environment, causing poor treatment of animals, promoting major health risks, and contributing to global crises like world hunger," the foundation writes

By reducing our meat consumption, we can help to alleviate these crises on an individual level — and the more people that join the movement, the better.

Studies have backed up this line of thinking. One such study, conducted by an Oxford University professor, found that if the United Kingdom's biggest meat eaters simply switched to a low-meat diet, the environmental impact would be equivalent to 8 million cars being taken off the road.

How is this movement helping the planet?

Animal farming, most notably beef production, is responsible for a shocking amount of pollution. Nearly 25% of global food industry pollution comes from beef production, and animal farming accounts for almost 80% of all agricultural land use worldwide.

Many people, particularly younger people, are switching to low-meat diets. According to one study, young people are considering the environmental impact of their menu choices much more than those in older generations.

Conversely, men aged 50 to 65 are responsible for a whopping 50% of the total beef consumption in the United States, with devastating impacts to their health and the health of our planet.

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