New Documentary Puts Reducetarianism in the Spotlight
Convincing others to adopt a fully plant-based diet can be one of the most challenging parts in moving towards a sustainably driven cruelty-free food system. Riverdale actress Madelaine Petsch and leader of the Reducetarian Movement Brian Kateman teamed up to explore the challenges that hinder people’s transition to a plant-based diet in their new documentary MEAT ME HALFWAY. The duo aims to guide people towards a plant-based diet without forcing them to immediately drop favorite habits and traditions.
The documentary team decided to take an approach that encourages steps towards a meatless diet rather than forces a plant-based lifestyle, believing that when presenting a new diet often times people respond defensively. Kateman walks the viewer through his own process of reducing meat, pointing out everything from nutrition to sustainability, to showcase the reasons why meat consumption is harmful to self-interests and environmental health.
“I co-directed MEAT ME HALFWAY alongside Journey Wade-Hak with a single question in mind: why is it so difficult to get people to eat less meat? Despite all the known issues factory farming has on the environment, human health, and animal welfare, we as a society are eating more meat than ever before in recorded history,” Kateman said. “In 2020, according to the USDA, Americans on average ate 225 pounds per person. I set out to learn what caused this carnivore craze: Was it culture? Our biology? Marketing? Or something else?”
Kateman felt inspired to discover what would push people to realize the impact of their diets. The activist founded the Reducetarian Foundation to promote the act of limiting and minimizing meat and animal-product consumption rather than a full-sweeping demand that people become plant-based. Through the documentary, Kateman guides the audience on a journey to inspire people to lower their animal product intake. The educational, honest, and relatable path allows the audience to connect to plant-based or plant-forward living, rather than feeling isolated from the process.
“At its core, I was inspired to make this film because I wanted to offer an alternative vision for conversations around meat consumption, to show that the vegan-omnivore divide is a false one because meat consumption isn’t an all-or-nothing premise,” he continued. “I hope that the film will inspire a generation of individuals to cut back on animal products in order to create a more compassionate, healthy, and sustainable world.”
Petsch and Kateman come to audiences where their diet currently stands. The MEAT ME HALFWAY documentary takes a controversial and heated topic and attempts to make it palatable to all audiences, regardless of diet. The film hopes to make its viewers and subjects feel like a part of a solution rather than the problem, which is key to Kateman’s Reducetarian mission.
The film features interviews with several activists alongside discussion with people who have never considered lowering their meat consumption. The film also explores the dangers of animal agriculture, spotlighting the environmental damages and cruel practices that define the food industry worldwide.
Kateman also interviews representatives from several plant-based food giants such as Clara Foods, Eat Just, Beyond Meat, and Miyoko’s Creamery. Kateman attempts to display every aspect of reducing meat consumption from the small steps such as introducing avocados to his parents to immense scientific leaps such as Silicon Valley labs working to develop meatless proteins.
People can watch the MEAT ME HALFWAY documentary now on Amazon or iTunes to join Kateman and Petsch’s exploration into general meat consumption. Kateman emphasizes that the middle ground must be address to make progress changing the greater culture’s diet saying, “the first step is to get people to stop thinking about vegan-omnivore as a binary.”