Judo versus karate

Vegans have grown a bad reputation because (or so the stereotype goes) they’d call out anyone eating meat — citing that meat is bad for animal welfare or climate reasons. They’re right, of course, but nobody wants to hear it.

Yet like-minded businesses have sought to sell soy burgers or start ecological supermarkets, to take on conventional supermarkets. They are yet to grow beyond a tiny niche.

The actual work is done by companies like The Vegetarian Butcher and Impossible Foods, that take on a whole different approach. They work together with — not against — chains like Burger King and supermarkets, serving meat imitations instead of meat replacements.

And they don’t tell us that eating meat is bad. They’ve just made a better version of it, because they know you like meat and it’ll be hard to make you stop eating it.

It’s a whole different game. They practice judo while the environmental movement is doing karate.

Karate is attacking an object or person at full-force — punching and kicking. Meanwhile judo (which translates into “gentle way”) uses the opponent’s energy and momentum. It’s often a more effective way of getting what you want, making use of inertia already there.

I think the world needs more grappling and less punching. If anything, it brings us all much closer too.

Sculpture by Jean-Louis Corby.