I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for many years before becoming vegan. When people tell me that they want to eat more ethically but veganism seems too hard, I understand completely. I suggest, of course, that they start out by giving up meat and work their way—at their own pace—toward a vegan or mostly vegan diet.
But I am meeting more and more people who are taking a surprisingly different approach. They are giving up eggs and dairy foods even though they still eat meat. Their rationale is that some of the worst factory farm abuses take place on egg, chicken, and dairy farms. Therefore, they believe they can do more good for animals by being a meat eater who doesn’t use eggs or dairy than by choosing a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet!
We have local clubs, tee shirts, cookbooks—and most importantly—a name for people who don’t eat meat. Maybe we need to create an identity for those who are taking another path toward a vegan diet. What to call these folks? I don’t know. Fleshatarians? Carno-pesco vegetarians? It doesn’t matter. What matters is finding a way to make the choices that do the greatest possible good. And those choices aren’t always as obvious as we might think.