When going all in doesn't seem realistic.
“So, I can never eat a burger ever again?”
“I’d miss bacon too much.”
“But I just love cheese . . . .”
We’ve all heard it. We’ve probably said these things ourselves. Reasons people “can’t” (or won’t) go vegan.
No wonder so many people refuse to even consider eating vegetarian or vegan. It seems so extreme. To think that you could never eat something you enjoy so much today ever again in the future.
But what if we lowered the bar to entry? What if eating vegan didn’t have to be all or nothing?
Don’t get me wrong—some people are happy to kiss burgers goodbye, and they do so without batting an eye. I, for one, haven’t eaten a beef burger in years. But, I still enjoy cheese from time to time. If someone had told me eating vegan—or even vegetarian or pescatarian—had to be 100%, I’m not sure I would have begun to wade into plant-based eating.
The truth is, while boundaries are certainly helpful, most of us need a path of sustainable progress. Not more rules.
What if, instead of going “all in” vegan, you went plant exclusive for just 5 of the 7 days of every week? That means you still have 2 full days to eat whatever you want.
This approach would still offer a significant benefit for both your health and the environment.
The key here is that the weekend isn’t for bingeing. That would defeat the purpose. Rather, it’s for freedom. This format provides a helpful form of structure. Just like having a weekly day of rest (enabling you to push hard through the other six days, knowing a rest day is coming), you can enjoy and have clarity about how you’ll eat during the weekdays knowing that, if you want to enjoy a special “treat” that has butter, cheese, or an egg on the weekend, you can.
A lot of people really do want to eat better for their health. And people care about the planet, too. But we also all want to enjoy what we eat, and may fear having to say a “forever goodbye” to something we think is tasty. (What’s more, it takes time for our “taste habits” to change. Believe it or not, there may be a day when you don't want the beef burger anymore . . . but that day might be a bit of a ways out.)
Just think—how many people might reduce their intake of animal products by adopting a weekday vegan—or even weekday veg (simply no meat)—approach?
Honestly, we only stand to benefit.
What do you say? Let's lower the bar to entry and encourage plant-based eating at whatever level. Some will need to start with Meatless Monday. That's great! Add another day every month or so, and soon you'll be a "weekday veg."
Finally, I have to admit that this idea is not original. I wrote this based on Graham Hill’s Ted Talk, which I recommend viewing and sharing with a friend!