We know that eating animals is bad for the planet and bad for our health, and yet we do it anyway. We've all heard the statistics: animal agriculture is responsible for at least 18 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions; we need to drop our meat consumption by 50 per cent simply to feed the world's estimated 10 billion people in 2050; a full third of the Earth's arable land is devoted to growing crops for livestock; approximately 80 per cent of deforested land in the Amazon is used solely for rearing livestock. Ask anyone in the plant-based movement and the solution seems obvious: Stop eating meat.
But for many people, that stark solution is neither appealing nor practical. In Meat Me Halfway, author and founder of the reducetarian movement Brian Kateman puts forth a realistic and balanced goal: mindfully reduce your meat consumption. It might seem strange for a leader of the plant-based movement to say, but meat is here to stay. The question is not how to ween society off meat, but how to make meat more healthy, more humane, and more sustainable.
In this book, Kateman answers the question that has plagued vegans for years: why are we so resistant to changing the way we eat, and what can we do about it?
Exploring our historical relationship with meat, from the domestication of animals, to the early industrialization of meatpacking, to the advent of the one-stop grocery store, the science of taste, and the laws that impact our access to food, Meat Me Halfway reveals how humans have evolved as meat eaters. Featuring interviews with pioneers in the science of meat alternatives, investigations into new types of farming designed to lessen environmental impact, and innovations in ethical and sustainable agriculture, this down-to-Earth book shows that we all can change the way we create and consume food.
Brian Kateman coined the term reducetarian in 2014 to describe a person who is deliberately reducing his or her consumption of meat. Since then he gave a celebrated TEDx Talk on the reducetarian concept that has been praised by thought leaders such as Peter Singer, Steven Pinker, and Michael Pollan. In 2015, Kateman founded The Reducetarian Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to reducing societal meat consumption. He has since fundraised nearly $2,000,000 to propel the reducetarian message forward. Kateman and the Reducetarian Movement have been featured in just about every major publication, including The Washington Post, Vox, Salon, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, VICE, National Geographic, New York Post, Medical Daily, Fox News, Christianity Today, and Women’s Health. In 2017, Kateman organized the first-ever Reducetarian Summit, which attracted over 70 speakers and 500 attendees, and it has since grown to 750 attendees annually. The next summit is scheduled for fall 2021.
He is the author of The Reducetarian Solution and The Reducetarian Cookbook, and is the lead producer of Meat Me Halfway, a documentary that was released in Fall 2021 and streamed on Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and Apple TV.
"Meat Me Halfway is refreshingly pragmatic, a timely reminder that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Persuasive and optimistic, Kateman's book offers a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable and compassionate world."
– Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now