Why Meat Reducers are Crucial to the Success of the Vegan Movement

What if meat reducers have a bigger impact on reducing harm to animals than vegans? Here is how it works.

The vegan movement often seems to measure its success by the number of vegans in it. This figure is important, of course, but the number of people reducing their consumption of animal products may be even more important in terms of overall impact. Meat reducers play a crucial role in the vegan movement.

Let me explain this by means of an analogy.

In most countries in the world, gluten-free products have become quite popular in the last 10 years or so. The reason that gluten-free cookies and pasta and other foods are so widely available now is not because of the one percent of the population who are allergic to gluten and avoid it at all costs.

Rather, it is because of the much bigger group of what we may call gluten-reducers - people who are not so strict in avoiding gluten, but who believe doing so provides certain health benefits. What happened was that this bigger group of gluten reducers created a significant demand for gluten-free products for the first time. Companies noticed this increased demand, and, as a result, became motivated to create decent gluten-free products.

What’s important here is this: thanks to the gluten-reducers, life for those who are gluten-allergic has become a lot easier—they have a much bigger selection of products today than they had before the gluten-free boom.

The same applies to vegan food products.

The reason more and more companies make vegan products is that there is more and more demand for them. But this demand does not initially come from the very small group of vegans—which in most countries is still not bigger than one percent—but from the much larger group of meat reducers, which may constitute as much as a quarter of the population. Most producers of vegan products and most vegan restaurant owners will tell you that the majority of their customers are not vegan.

It’s easier than it used to be for vegans to be vegan today largely thanks to meat reducers, because reducers have helped to increase the demand for vegan products.

For most people, reducing their consumption of animal products is easier than going vegan. In your outreach, if you can tell that people are not ready to go vegan, ask them to reduce.

All of these reducers will help to make becoming vegan a lot easier for everyone.

We're very grateful to VegFund for supporting the production of these videos.