The Amazon Rainforest Is Aflame, and Flexitarians Want a Cheat Day?

When two of my best friends announced that they were going on a flexitarian diet, I was all kinds of bemused—mostly because I didn’t really know what a flexitarian was.

Pescetarian? Sure, I’d heard of it. Vegetarian? Heck, I was one once. But “flexitarian” was a term that required a little research. Here’s what I found out.

Hey, Siri, what’s a flexitarian?

As it turns out, a flexitarian is a person who eats a mostly vegetarian diet but also “cheats” from time to time, occasionally eating meat.

I did my best to be cool—my friends were, after all, taking a step in the right direction. I had to be supportive. I had to high-five them both and say something like, “Wow, way to go.”

I also had to get on my soapbox real quick and dish out a bit of tough love.

Is eating a flexitarian diet good enough?

So you’re saying that even though the Amazon rainforest is aflame … you want a cheat day?

No, being flexitarian is not good enough. The largest rainforest on Earth is being burned, animals are being horrifically abused and killed for no reason, people are destroying their own health and even becoming ill from eating animals, and the world as we know it may be coming to an end—all because some refuse to make the compassionate and easy decision to go vegan.

Already Heard Enough? Make the Switch Today

Going flexitarian to combat climate change or help animals is like trying to put out the Amazon rainforest fires with a garden hose.

The good news, though, is that if you’re already flexitarian (or vegetarian or pescetarian), you’ve done most of the legwork.

If you’ve made life changes that are a bit more friendly toward animals and the environment, I commend you. Clearly, there’s some compassion inside you that’s dying to be unleashed. But cows don’t have time for your “but cheese” excuses. Chickens don’t have time for you to deny that plants have protein, and you don’t need to eat meat or eggs to get enough. Mother Earth and all her inhabitants don’t have time for flexitarian diets.

If you still eat any meat, eggs, or dairy, you’re stepping all over Mother Earth, and she’s weeping in response. Our planet can’t settle for flexitarianism, so neither can we. Meatless Mondays and retweeting #PrayforAmazonia tweets are good things, but going vegan is the ultimate thing. It’s the solution that would have the single biggest impact on our world.

More good news: Going vegan is as easy as it is necessary.

In a time when KFC is testing vegan fried chicken and entire restaurants are going 100% vegan, keeping animal-derived foods off your plate has never been more doable. But we’re here to make it even more so. Order a free vegan starter kit filled with recipes and tips:

Make the Switch

… and encourage your friends and family to start saving lives and our planet, too:

Order a Free Vegan Starter Kit for a Friend

Tell your friends and family—share this article on Facebook and Twitter.

By Katherine Sullivan

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind