SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Are you a strict vegan who won’t wear leather? A mindful carnivore who only eats humanely slaughtered animals?
Choosing what to eat is specially treacherous among millennials and Bay Area foodies.
Just visit Facebook. There you will find Mark Zuckerberg doing Facebook Live as he barbeques dinner.
“Things taste better when you make them yourself and they taste doubly better when you hunted the animal yourself,” proclaimed the tech titan and game hunter.
Elsewhere on social media you’ll find plenty of hard-core vegans who believe animals have feelings and emotions.
One such group stormed into a San Francisco restaurant so one of its members could deliver a tearful speech urging diners not to eat meat, citing the plight of a chicken she had rescued that she named “Snow.”
“We’re so enraged about hearing someone hurt a dog or a cat but because of the species-ism in our mind, we don’t think twice about hurting a pig, a chicken or a cow,” proclaimed Kelly Atlas from Direct Action Everywhere.
There’s a beef in the Bay Area about what we should eat.
Vegan, carnivore, omnivore — the many polarizing diet choices can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
It may even break up your relationship.
“Watching my ex-boyfriend eat steak was at the same time alienating and depressing,” expressed one woman on social media.
“You know she wanted to be vegan. But she knows her man didn’t want to be vegan,” said her ex-boyfriend.
Instead of carving a hard line between eating meat or eating just plants, a growing number of millennials are following a new recipe for success.
The idea: don’t give up meat.
“When you grow up on a meat and potatoes diet, that just doesn’t work,” said Caitlin Bond.
“Getting people to eat less meat is much easier,” explained Brad Swain.
Caitlin and Brad live in San Francisco; Ashley Schaeffer-Yildiz, a married mom of two, lives in Berkeley.
They’re all “reducetarians.”
“My husband, you know, he wants his occasional meat,” explained Ashley who is a lifelong vegetarian.
To live the life of a reducetarian, you simply reduce the amount of any animal product you eat.
“It doesn’t have to be all or nothing,” said Brian Kateman.
Brian is President and co-founder of the Reducetarian Foundation. He came up with the term.
“You can simply cut back on the amount of meat, eggs and dairy you consume. You can try meatless Monday where you cut out meat on Monday,” said Kateman.
As Kateman explains, you plan a reducetarian diet the way it works best for you.
“You can try vegan before six, where for breakfast and lunch you have vegan meals but then, for dinner, it’s your choice,” explained Brian.
Brian believes that, without a doubt, eating more plants will improve your health as well as the health of the planet and there’s scientific evidence to back him up.
But cutting out all meat and dairy? That can be tough. We asked a variety of meat-eaters and they said “no way.”
Brad said Caitlin’s weakness was chicken fingers she ate as a child and that his temptation was cheddar cheese. To fight temptation, the couple has lots of easy, meatless recipes at their fingertips.
They’ve also flip-flopped their fridge, stashing animal products on the bottom shelf, with veggies at eye level on top.
“The hardest part is trying to make sure that my vegetables don’t freeze on the top shelf,” laughed Caitlin.
Ashley says her family now eats vegetarian most of the time.
“We go to the farmer’s market at least once a week and I get so many beautiful, rainbow-colored fruits and vegetables — that really inspires my daily cooking,” explained the Berkeley mom.
She says you don’t have to hit people over the head with veggies, just slip in more plants when you can.
“Know that you’re helping the world one meal at a time,” Ashley said.
That’s good food for thought.
WEBLINK: The Reducetarian Summit