Ending the battle between vegans, vegetarians, and everyone else | Brian Kateman | TEDxCUNY

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This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Many people are aware that their food choices have real-world consequences but believe that the only solution is to completely eliminate meat from their diet. Brian Kateman argues that the “reducetarian” movement can empower individuals to eat less meat with respect to their own diet in an easy and manageable way, thereby improving their health, the environment, and the lives of farm animals.

Brian Kateman is Co-Founder and President of the Reducetarian Foundation.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

49 COMMENTS

  1. haha, I used to skip red meat and it was one of the hardest things I'd ever done.

    I cut out all meat and it was super easy. Going strong over a year πŸ™‚

  2. Ok I choose the meat eater lifestyle and that's my opinion but like global warming doesn't only come from eating meat it has a factor but 20% what about the other 80% πŸ€” that also we need to focus on to help our planet and then help deforestation and when you hear vegan says that vegans are healthier but in the States when they say that people who aren't vegan have a higher risk of diabetes but why don't they say the reason is maybe because in America we have the highest obesity rate and we know the risk of being obese is diabetes and heart problems we should solve that like it's crazy and vegans may lower it but that doesn't mean they can't get it either because of course you can get it from genetics and also our food is not healthy because they put unhealthy stuff in it now I'm not saying vegan lifestyle is unhealthy because it's isn't it's healthy and also your health can be great either if your vegetarian or meat eater both had it up and downs but I get his message but this was just my thoughts

  3. wonderfully put … I consider myself a qualitarian πŸ™‚ I eat highly nutritious and organic food with occasional small amounts of meat or fish.

  4. I like this dude, he has a healthy approach to this subject. One thing that is overlooked a lot to save our planet, is that we really need to reduce population. Otherwise all efforts will be useless.

  5. Well for me reduce is in many times negativ associated. I think it is better to stress on awareness and responsibillity while we are choosing what to eat. When I`m asked I say right now I prefer vegan eating. That gives me not to much pressure for the future

  6. Excuses… That is the way the school system educates us, it is ok to be neutral and comparative. In real life, either you succeed or you fail, whatever anyone thinks of you. Point being: Stop eating meat, stop consuming death. Either you do it or you don't. Finding excuses for your palet sometimes yes/no doesn't miraculously brings back an innocent being to life.

  7. I claim that I am a "lousy vegan". I eat plant based on a nutritional basis, as a lifestyle, but not a religion. If I want a cheeseburger (with bacon of course), I do. but not daily or even weekly. Flexitarian is close – we coined the phrase "fleegan" – flexible vegan. This isn't about animal rights for me – noble as they may be. This is about what is good for health, my own, and the planet to a degree.

  8. I am not a Reducetarian,here is WHY I am vegan:

    I agree that we should not seperate ourselves but we need to make a destinction to highlight the enormous problem. If we didn't define us, less people would be conscious of the problems that a western diet bring.

    – A vegan is an activist. You may see me on the streets promoting the elimination of animal exploitation. A Reducetarian isn't promoting the message a vegan promotes.

    -A vegan not only eats a plant based diet but we also do not support certain businesses and products such as clothing or lotions etc… So it goes beyond diet. A vegan is an aware consumer while a reducetarian is (as he says) inconsistent unlike the vegans.

  9. As a new Vegan, I had idea of the battle between between vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters. I only made the change for personal and ethical benefits. I don't want any one judging my eating choices and as an ex-meat eater, who am I to judge meat eaters?? Most don't know the negativity of eating meat or if they do, simply choose for whatever there reasons. All this bickering is ridiculous and honestly, the self righteousness of some vegans is appalling. I don't want to be put into any category. We just all need to respect others and their choices!

  10. Reading the comments – thats why ill never turn into a vegan. You're just offensive and never happy with people trying and don't think ahead that maybe reducitarians someday will abandon eating meat at all. YOU AND YOUR OFFENSIVE UNAPPRECIATIVE MOUTHS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR REACTIONS. We eat meat because we don't want to turn to offensive people that somehow feel obligated and approved of throwing offenses between our eyes and being inconsiderate of individual's situation, yet you want us to care about animals we don't even see. Start with your attitude, then try to change the world because your aggresion won't convince anyone that your way is better. So what if you treat animal as equal if you still are aggresive towards your own kind?

  11. I listened to this and enjoyed the humour… but like most people focusing on our diet, there is no explanation given to what the future would hold for domesticated meat animal species if people didn't eat meat. It strikes me as being a lot like those animal liberationists who "rescue" pets and euthanise them to end their "suffering"… How exactly would not eating meat save those species? It wouldn't.

  12. 'Reducitarian' has the same effect as 'free range' … lulling people into a false sense of doing right … it's almost insulting to think that people can't handle the truth and live more aligned with their true morals and values.

  13. Although I believe that factory farming is wrong, it doesn't change the fact that humans are naturally suppose to eat meat, it is natural, We kill animals humanely (on normal farms) opposed to nature where animals are slaughtered by blood lose or poisoning, or choking.

  14. The minority, the 5% of non-meat eaters should listen to this guy carefully. What people eat is a personal choice, trying to force people to change has only added a stigma to the titles vegetarian and vegan. The majority reducing their meat intake would make more of a difference than the current 5% cutting it out completely.

  15. meat, eggs and such are eaten because its a quick efficient source of energy that can withstand harsh climates much better and requires very little space, effort or time to raise compared to growing crops. "primal urges" never had anything to do with it, eating meat is about diversity and being adaptable to any harsh weather or environment.

  16. Is this talk a joke? Here is a guy who jokes about being a vegan … speaks about the horror and cruelty to animals and then proudly boasts he's a carnivore. For the animals, our health and the planet there is no other option but to go vegan.

  17. If you are still eating meat, you are directly impacting everyone and everything else on this planet negatively… and if you have an internet connection you are wealthy enough to have the CHOICE to make better decisions with your food and your dollar. Please consider that. Please consider ditching the apathy along with the dead animals.

  18. Most of these comments look like the boxing match the speaker was talking about. He's trying to get meat eaters that are unwilling to stop, to at least eat less. Overall it would be more beneficial to environment than not changing at all. Stop looking for perfection and focus on progress.

  19. Loved it!!!!! Starting reducing can lead to fully eliminate the meat consumption, baby steps can make a huge change at the end, I was a "reducitarian" for years and each year was less and less meat, now I'm vegetarian 😊😊😊

  20. Reducetarian AKA Knowingly being selfish and apathetic. It's not a personal choice when there are victims involved. I'm a victim of your apathy and selfishness- I have to live in a world where YOU destroy it! If you know it's ideal…BE it! It's not hard. Just stop eating ANIMALS…it's not just "meat"- they are ANIMALS. If you care so much and know all this, why on earth continue to do it? That's INSANITY. that's denial. Apathy and selfishness! STOP BEING SELFISH and turning a blind eye- WE and this planet AND the animals can do BETTER than this. This is a step in the right direction but seriously let's get real. This is STILL not sustainable or healthy and more importantly it's cruel. END OF. IT IS NOT OK TO KILL for the sake of taste! If your justification for destroying the planet and causing immense suffering to sentient beings is taste- then EVOLVE your taste buds already. Just evolve PLEASE – we need to evolve now if we want fish in our oceans and trees in our Amazon forest and land animals other than the ones we bread to murder. This my friends is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. You have the capacity and capability to CHOOSE better for ALL. SO DO IT!

  21. Honestly why does this guy get net space? I am a vegan. People who eat animals are killing themselves and the planet. No being wants to be bred for food or exploitation. Why the debate? The truth is self evident. Flexitarians, pescatarians, reducitarians (omg), bullshitarians are all omnivores. Not able to follow a plant based diet? No legitimate reason for this unless you are confined in a nursing home or prison. Vegetarians NEVER eat bacon. Being a bacon eating Jewish "vegetarian" isn't even funny

  22. This is so good. No one needs to be the "most right", as long as, as he said, if we are all on the same page as far as reducing consumption of animals. My grandmother used to always say "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." and it's true. Blasting one side or the other for their degree of "wrongness" doesn't make anyone more right, it just further divides the communities. We should all be working toward the same goal, planetary conservationism, and if that means that most of us go vegan or vegetarian, so be it, especially if the majority of meat eaters also (hopefully greatly) reduce the amount they consume. πŸ™‚

  23. Less of meat is good too. I read somewhere that total abstinence from it is dangerous as most minerals and vitamins, especially B12, may become an issue. Let's tread carefully!

  24. If you expect to "end fighting between groups" then perhaps you should actually uh you know USE ACCURATE AND NON-FRAUDULENT INFORMATION INSTEAD DURING YOUR LECTURE!!!!

  25. I am mostly vegan, but when going out with mixed company, I would indulge myself with something that contains some cheese, milk, or sour cream. I understand where he is coming from because it is difficult to be a vegan in a non-vegan world. There are barely any vegan restaurants in the Midwest, so I eat most of my meals at home, but I like social encounters with people in restaurants. Also, traveling to other countries is more difficult as a vegan, unless you get an apartment hotel. I'm vegan in a vegetarian family, so it is a bit easier than other people, but I could easily understand some people's moral obligations to themselves mixing with the social obligations of others.

  26. I know from first hand experience the "giving up meat is hard" statement is purely a figment of the mind. I used to think that but after being exposed to enough footage from the animal agriculture industry I went completely vegan overnight. I learned some vegan cooking and realized my entire concept of what a meal was (a chunk of meat with a little bit of veggies) is purely a cultural construct. Vegan eating is easy and delicious.

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