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Meeting Meat-Eaters Halfway

Season 2, Episode 6

In theory, vegetarianism for climate mitigation is really quite simple. Just don’t choose the ham sandwich; have the hummus instead. It seems like a much simpler switch than building electric planes – and equally, perhaps even more so, as impactful – but a mass move toward vegetarianism just isn’t happening.

In this episode, Alex asks Marta Zaraska why, despite an ever-increasing abundance of vegan celebrities, memes, restaurants, and meat substitutes, we just can’t stop eating meat. As the author of Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat and a Polish-raised, kielbasa-loving eater herself, Marta is a sympathetic voice of reason. Rather than creating black-and-white categories of ethical eating, she advocates for “a strong reducetarian identity” that celebrates incremental progress. Tune in for Marta’s thoughts on why meat-eating is different for us than it was for our ancestors, how meat is linked to power and masculinity, and what created the cultural tension between carnivores and vegans.

For more, here's Marta's piece in the Breakthrough Journal, and here's a full transcript of the interview.


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