I’m a reducetarian. Here’s what I mean.

Chatting with a couple of friends during dinner at TEDxLundUniversity, discussing the weird, but yummy vegetarian smörgåstårta (sandwich-cake), they asked if I was also a vegetarian. I said, “No, but let me explain.”

I prefer to call myself a reducetarian. According to reducetarian.org “Reducetarianism is the practice of eating less meat — red meat, poultry, and seafood — as well as less dairy and fewer eggs, regardless of the degree or motivation.” But this is not my definition!

Instead, I look at reducetarianism as a broader goal of reducing the negative impact of what I consume on both my health and the environment. Now, this naturally does currently mean a reduction of animal products, but it also considers the packaging of products, the transportation involved in delivering the said products, and so on. I say currently because things will no doubt change. Lab-grown meat will remove animal suffering from the equation, and could easily require a reevaluation of dietary choices. And that’s just it, I want to stick to principles that don’t need to be thrown out the window when research sheds new light on accepted habits. Instead, I want to update the implementation, while keeping the principles.

This is how I use the term reducetarian: One who aims to reduce the negative impact of their lifestyle on their own body and the environment.

… And so having ordered a Vegan Supreme at Subway, as the waitress asked if she should put on a pair of new gloves for having used them making meaty sandwiches, the answer is simple. As a reducetarian, I would like to reduce plastic waste too and thus obviously refused.