The Reducetarian Foundation

The Reducetarian Foundation

The Reducetarian Foundation (RF) is a non-profit organization that works to reduce societal consumption of meat and animal products in an effort to protect the environment, improve human health, and diminish cruelty of farm animals. RF envisions a world in which societal consumption of red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy is significantly reduced. They chose to avoid an all-or-nothing approach and recognize than any form of reduction of consumption of animal products is going to make a significant difference.

RF works towards this mission through education, engagement, and research. To spread awareness of this idea and movement, RF implements paid online advertising campaigns, they create viral worthy, educational videos, and develop college campus clubs. This organization has also released a book called The Reducetarian Solution and a cookbook, The Reducetarian Cookbook. The book dives into how great of an impact on the environment, people, and animals reducing meat consumption can be. RF outwardly recognizes that animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of air and water pollution, poses many health risks to local communities, is responsible for global biodiversity loss, and other environmental degrading effects. The Reducetarian Cookbook guides readers to cook more plant-based meals. This organization also conducts research to better understand the effectiveness of various messages in pushing for a more plant-based future. Founder of the Reducetarian Foundation, Brian Kateman, is also a TEDx speaker, an instructor in the Executive Education Program at the Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability at Columbia University, and a leading expert on food systems and behavioral change. Kateman has approached this issue on a societal, individual-action level. To reduce animal agriculture’s contribution to climate change he identifies behavior change as the solution.

RF challenges people across the world to become a reducetarian. A reducetarian is defined as someone who engages in 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. By choosing to limit your consumption of animal products in any way you can be considered a reducetarian. Reducetarianism is still inclusive of vegans and vegetarians, but aims to acknowledge any form of cutback of animal product consumption. This concept seeks to find common ground for vegans and meateaters and avoids the all-or-nothing approach to this subject.

The Reducetarian Foundation work seems to be directly linked to people as consumers. This organization works to change individual behavior and avoids consulting stakeholders and approaching this issue politically. While, this is not necessarily negative that this organization is not engaging in creating change through these ways, it is important to recognize where and how organizations are working to accomplish something so that we can understand their effectiveness.

In understanding an organization’s effectiveness of accomplishing sustainability it is important to remember the 3 realms of sustainability. True sustainability considers the environment, economics, and society. RF clearly tackles environmental sustainability. As an organization they understand the strong link between animal agriculture and climate change. RF directly works to increase understanding of this impact and to change behaviors to diminish this problem. RF also clearly illustrates the social side of sustainability. RF acknowledges the detrimental health effects of animal production consumption and the animal cruelty linked to animal consumption. The animal agriculture industry contributes to social inequality and inequity and RF directly works to minimize the size and power of that industry. As far as being economically sustainable, RF seems to recognize the demand for meat and animal products as being linked to an obsession with cheap meat. The current animal agriculture system is economically unsustainable in that way. RF works to move away from that system and to move towards an agriculture system that supports individual health and well being and environmental protection and preservation.

Having only been founded in 2015, The Reducetarian Foundation is a rapidly growing foundation that seeks to combat environmental issues, public health issues, and animal rights issues by understanding societal behaviors and encouraging a reduction of meat consumption. They are effectively doing so by accomplishing sustainability in a holistic way.

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