Health Blog

Maybe you’re a flexitarian

March 8, 2008

Every time I think about becoming a vegetarian, it looks good on paper and even feels good in practice for a few days. But then my stomach rolls over, begging like a dog with big, sad eyes as if to say: No . . . meat . . . EVER?

Because I wasn’t having much luck teaching my stomach to heel, one of my friends suggested flexitarianism. Basically, a flexitarian is someone who is a vegetarian most of the time.

However, according to the reader-generated slang-usage Urban Dictionary, a mildly popular definition is “a pretend vegetarian” or “faketarian.”

Maybe flexitarianism is just a label for healthier eating or maybe wielding the term will fight off those nosy why-are-you-eating-that, you’re-supposed-to-be-a-vegetarian comments. True vegans and vegetarians may react to the—ahem—flexible term with horror or loathing. True carnivores might scoff.

But many have been enthusiastic about the diet for some time, even a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in this 2004 article. In fact, the American Dialect Society voted “flexitarian” the most useful word of 2003. In all of my failings as a vegetarian, how did I miss this word for so many years?

Whether or not I’ll put the technical term to use, I like the idea. I will try to eat more vegetables, whole grains and fruits. And at least for now, I’ll listen to my stomach if it’s pawing at the door to go for a walk—and take it out for a steak.

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If you can’t say no to turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy in the winter, check this out.

Figure out what “organic” means here.

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