It's been bubbling below the surface for some time now, originally rearing its head in the mid 90s, critiqued in 2013 as vegetarianism but cheating before being tipped to be the "hot food trend of 2017." Move over clean eating, the flexitarian is here and hungry for your food wankery crown.
So what the fuck is a flexitarian and why the hell should we care? In it's simplest form it's a vegetarian. Who eats meat. I'll give you a moment for that to sink in. For the most part your run of the mill flexitarian will follow a predominately vegetarian if not vegan lifestyle, though should the notion take them they will get all in about a big juicy steak, a Sunday roast, really, any piece of meat that takes their fancy.
Not really any kind of vegetarian then right? So what's the deal?
There's a list as long as both my arms put together why we should eat less meat. It's better for the environment, our health and the old pocket. It's also easier than ever before to go vegetarian or vegan. However flexitarianism is a laissez-faire, have your cake and eat it too attitude to vegetarianism.
The concept alone - less meat with the occasional indulgence is completely fine. What you put in your body is your own business. But does it need a name? A special moniker? Not even a little bit. In fact, the whole thing is just a little bit sanctimonious. Yes, it's a conscious effort to live a more sustainable and conscious life, and that in itself should be celebrated.
But as a label it serves no purpose other than to pat the self professed flexi on the arse.
I think flexitarianism can be a great transitional choice if you're looking to take the plunge and embrace a plant based lifestyle. Itself as a diet is great. Ticks many boxes. Hell, even if you just want to make sure you are eating better quality meat from local producers or whatever else tickles your fancy. THIS IS ALL FINE.
In fact, if my opinion as an anonymous wido on the internet is that important to you, then go forth. Enjoy your free-from goods and occasional smoked salmon sarnie. Consider this my blessing. But please for the love of god, don't give it an infuriatingly eye-roll gag worthy name like "flexitarianism."
Header image by Tofu Bandit