ARE you a vegetarian and looking forward to that Christmas turkey?

Yes, you did read that correctly.

And no, I’m not mad - vegetarianism needn’t be so, well, limiting on your food choices. So, yes, you can tuck into that festive bird, pigs in blankets and Boxing Day ham without conscience if you are willing to just adjust your vegetarian principles a tad.

The American food chain Whole Foods has predicted that flexitarianism, or semi-vegetarianism, will be the new foodie fad of 2017.

For those not yet in the know, flexitarianism means eating predominantly but not exclusively vegetarian food. Whole Foods describes it thus: “Instead of a strict identity aligned with one diet, shoppers embrace the ‘flexitarian’ approach to making conscious choices about what, when and how much to eat.”

This new personalised version of healthy eating is “less rigid than typical vegan, paleo, gluten-free and other special diets that have gone mainstream”, allowing followers “more flexibility”.

So, you can eat anything you want, when you want? Aren’t those of us who are not vegetarians or vegans the original flexitarians then? What’s the difference between flexitarianism and ordinary eating? Well, apparently, flexitarians (celebrity followers reportedly include Paul McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jamie Oliver) only eat meat at certain times, such after 6pm or only at weekends or on certain days of the week, and because it’s a plant-based diet with the occasional addition of meat, they tend to eat more vegetables and so it’s healthier.

But surely flexitarians face something of a dilemma - they are no longer vegetarians, are they, so they can’t claim the ethical kudos of calling themselves semi-vegetarians, can they?

If they are eating meat at all, even if it’s limited, they are still eating dead animals.

Whole Foods says the concept’s popularity is on the rise because it’s more “achievable” so people can fit it into their everyday lives more easily. Surely that’s not the point. The kind of people who become vegetarian have principles about the way meat is produced, about the kind of food they are willing to put in their bodies and about the environment - and vegans even more strictly so (I should know - my 18-year-old daughter is a vegan and has been for almost a year).

So I can’t imagine anyone who is strong-minded enough to become vegetarian or vegan in the first place abandoning their principles for mere convenience.

It seems to me that flexitarianism is simply a cop-out for the weaker-minded who would like to have principles in theory but can’t stick with it in practice.

Still, more and more people are subscribing to this lifestyle, with the number of semi-vegetarians in the UK set to rise by 10 per cent, according to research by Forum for the Future and Counterpoint.

Their reason? According to Mark Driscoll, of Forum for the Future: “A growing number of consumers are cutting back on the types of food which have the biggest impact on our world. From a sustainability perspective, this is a welcome sign. Research has shown that widespread adoption of vegetarian or vegan diets could lower carbon emissions by 63 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.”

The Vegan Society says there are more than two million vegetarians and vegans in the UK and another million who follow a flexitarian diet, signifying a “cultural shift in the way we think about our food”.

So, given how food-conscious Brighton is, how long will it be before it can boast the UK’s first flexitarian restaurant, with meat only on the menu after 6pm and on the weekend?

The Argus: An artist's impression of how Anston House will look if redeveloped.

WE don’t want Brighton to become Croydon, said local resident William Shaw in The Argus last week, in response to the news that Anston House is one of three redevelopments in the city that have been given the go-ahead.

The plans include three high-rise developments at sites such as Blackman Street and a former petrol station at Kingsway, Hove, that will bring nearly 300 new homes and 10,000 sq. of business space to the city.

New buildings, especially if they’re not entirely in keeping with existing ones, always arouse strong feelings, both for and against, and understandably so.

The chosen sites are either vacant or derelict, and therefore an eyesore, and the city council is under pressure to provide more office space (and the opportunity to create jobs) and affordable housing.

On the other hand, campaigners say the planned developments will be “turn Brighton into a city of concrete blocks like Croydon”.

What’s the alternative, though? Because of its geography, Brighton can’t expand outwards, only upwards, and to leave valuable space unoccupied when people need homes and the city needs to attract new business blood in order to thrive, is simply not an option. But there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t have new buildings that are both practical and beautiful, just like Brighton itself.