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Should Vegetarians be pleased by the rise of Flexitarianism?

Comments (4)

So what's your favourite horse meat joke? Here is mine?

Why do Findus add cheese to their Lasagne?

To Mascarpone...

Picked yourself up from the floor laughing yet? Ok, so the whole horse meat saga has once gain highlighted some of the issues around eating animal flesh, and yes as a vegetarian I probably find it more amusing than many of my carnivore friends.

It has however given yet another jolt to the latest food fad - aka Flexitarianism. Put simply Flexitarianism is what aging veggies used to refer to as demi-vegetarianism. For veggies it is people who want the benefits of a meat free diet but aren't committed enough to go the whole hog. For carnivores it is Vegetarianism with benefits in that you get to cheat - a little.

According to The Guardian Flexitarianism is becoming seriously popular in the UK. It might almost be the middle class diet of the year - well in more liberal-minded households.

But is this abstaining from meat for 80% of the time and then going and getting a big steak on a meal out or bacon sandwich for Saturday brunch, good or bad news for vegetarians?

I guess it depends on your perspective and why you decided to shun meat in the first place. If you are hard core about it (this is the PETA view) then all Flexitarians are doing is still eating meat but just being a little more sensible about their fruit and veg intake. There is no moral reason for their diet - as opposed to some Vegetarians have a morality underpinning their lifestyle - they still care very little about animals if they are still happy to eat them.

The alternative - sponsored I guess by Linda McCartney and her cohorts - view is that people eating less meat is a good thing. It is better for them, better for the environment and ultimately may push them into a full veggie diet.

I must admit I can see the rationality of both sides on this one. While I tend more to the latter view I still find it sad that people are so scared of making commitments to a cause. Not eating meat is a moral decision that affects ever single day of my life. For me it shows much more of a commitment to the environment and the future of the world (and animals too) than doing a bit of recycling and choosing to buy sustainable products.

And yes I know that might make me sound a little pious, but most people who have changed the world start from a strong moral point of view and if that makes them pious, well that then isn't a word I am scared of.

Anyway - fellow veggies what do you think?

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