Flexitarianism - a Happy Medium?

So, you ditched plastic straws, said hello to wooden toothbrushes, waved goodbye to fast fashion and bought the cutest keep cup, what’s next on your helping the environment journey? 

How about saying no to meat? Or at least saying no to be meat more times than you say yes. 

Flexi vegans/vegetarians, often called flexitarians, are the next big trend when it comes to personal changes you can make to help the environment. They are the perfect in between for people who want to do their part for the environment but aren’t ready to give up meat just yet. 

What are flexitarians?  According to Lundi Veggie, a French vegetarian community, “Flexitarians are people who are aware of the impact of meat overconsumption on health and on the environment, and who have chosen to reduce their consumption of animal protein without eliminating it from their diets. Flexitarians don’t eat meat as often, try to avoid using unnecessary animal by-products, and prefer plant-based proteins when it is possible.”

It's basically like being a vegetarian but you can occasionally have meat and fish. There are varying degrees of flexitarianism, they could just avoid meat and fish one meal a day or one day a week, they could only eat meat once a fortnight or on special occasions. There really is an option for everyone. 

However, a key aspect of flexitarianism is that the animal products that you do consume are ethically sourced and environmentally friendly. This is arguably the hardest part of being a flexitarian as not only are these meats harder to source, they are often more expensive. 

Being a flexitarian is extremely beneficial for the environment. According to a new research found by John Hopkins University in Baltimore, America, a flexitarian diet could be better for the environment than a vegetarian diet. A flexitarian diet that has only one portion of non-red meat a day has a lower carbon footprint than a vegetarian diet, that supplements excess dairy in place of meat. 

Meat production accounts for 18% of human produced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This is more than all emissions from all types of transport put together, that’s including cars to planes. 

If everyone in the world became a flexitarian, greenhouse gases from agriculture could be reduced by more than half which would prevent our ecosphere from collapsing.

It isn’t only the environment we would be helping, becoming a flexitarian can also positively impact your health.  People who cut down on meat tend to weigh less and have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke or diabetes. As long as you’re eating enough and ensure you get all your necessary vitamins and proteins, going flexitarian can massively improve your health.

A good way to start becoming a flexitarian is to introduce Meat Free Mondays, which is an international campaign that aims to improve people’s health and the health of our planet. Popularized by Paul McCartney in a rap video he made, it’s simply a day of the week when you pledge not to eat meat. 

Flexitarianism is an easy way to better yourself and help your planet so why not give it a go?