You are currently viewing Advocating for Reduced Meat & Dairy Intake may be the Best Strategy

Advocating for Reduced Meat & Dairy Intake may be the Best Strategy

If you are a plant based diet advocate like myself, you know how difficult it can be to convince someone to go vegan. In Tobias Leenaert’s excellent book, “How to Create a Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach”, he explains how we may have a bigger impact with our advocacy by encouraging people to reduce their meat and dairy intake rather than trying to convince them to go vegan. According to the author, “many meat reducers together may change the system faster than a few vegans…as a group, meat reducers save more animals than vegetarians and vegans.” 

Meat and Dairy Reducers are a much bigger part of the population than vegans and consume more vegetarian and vegan meals than vegetarians and vegans. As a result, we can also assume that because of their size, reducers are also the biggest purchasers of veg related products. Tobias Leenaert spoke with a few vegan product industry leaders who pretty much confirmed that the meat and dairy reducing part of the population is their primary target.
Here is an excerpt:
“Yves Potvin is the founder and president of the Canadian company Gardein, which produces meat alternatives. In a personal correspondence, he told me: “Flexitarians are the key to changing the world and the largest group that purchases Gardein, as vegans and vegetarians are still a small percentage of the population and flexitarians are on the rise.” Likewise, Seth Tibbott, founder and chairman of the famous Tofurky brand, told me: “While vegans and vegetarians both punch above their weight, we estimate that they are at most responsible for around 20 percent to 25 percent of our customer base. We feel that meat reducers, some of whom are former vegans or vegetarians, account for the vast majority of our sales”…This large group of reducers, then, drives demand and has a greater effect on the market than the small group of vegetarians and vegans. Food companies develop new items to meet this demand—sometimes to compensate for their declining sales of animal-based products or as a hedge against the future. Supermarkets will offer these products, and chefs prepare meals with them…Reducers, much less than vegetarians and vegans, are not necessarily motivated by ethical reasons. The motivation, however, is irrelevant in terms of the effect they have on demand.”
Interesting. Do I now have to revise my use of the slogan “Go Vegan” to  “Greatly Reduce your Meat and Dairy Intake”? Hmm, somehow it doesn’t have the same ring, but thanks to the work of Tobias Leenaert, I now know that it may be more effective.  🙂  
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