The Meatless Monday movement is a promotion aimed at reducing meat consumption for a healthier planet and its inhabitants.
Why Meatless Monday?
According to meatlessmonday.com, the Meatless Monday Campaign’s goal
“is to encourage people to refrain from eating meat one day a week. Meatless Monday seeks to reduce the prevalence of preventable illnesses and the environmental impacts associated with meat production and excessive meat consumption. Meatless Monday was originally promoted by the U.S. government during both World Wars by urging families to reduce consumption of key staples. It was reintroduced as a public health awareness campaign in 2003 by former ad man turned health advocate Sid Lerner, in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School and the Center for a Livable Future.”
The movement is global and reaches more than 44 countries. It’s a movement designed to make people aware of the environmental and health impacts of increased meat consumption.
According to the campaign website, more people are eating more meat around the world, and health risks will increase as worldwide meat consumption increases.
I participate in Meatless Monday as a way to be more thoughtful about my food sources. It’s become a good way to introduce meatless dishes at my house.
Here are my top 5 reasons to join the Meatless Monday Movement:
1. Eat lighter by eating less meat
The movement started back WWI and then was brought back in WW II to help focus resources on the war effort, and then was re-introduced to reduce preventable diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. That’s not to say that meat causes these diseases, but because we eat more meat than in past generations, the logic is that eating less may be good for your health.
2. Focus on vegetables
Meatless Mondays are the perfect time to try new vegetable recipes or vegetables you’ve never tried before or to amp up the vegetables and make them the center of the meal instead of the lowly side.
3. Raise awareness of food sources
I learned about the Meatless Monday movement when I started looking more closely at food sources and where my food was coming from. I’m a city girl and I’ve never slaughtered an animal and prepped it as food. I accept that humans are the top of the food chain, but still feel compelled to consider the process that gets a cow to be a steak. And I know it’s not much, but meatless meals even one day a week help me be more conscious of where my food comes from and how it gets to my table.
4. Lighten your ecological footprint
Our ecological footprint is calculated by the amount of resources, specifically fuel, we use. If you’re interested in conservation and ecology, you’re probably interested in lightening your ecological footprint. Red meat consumption is one of the primary calculators of your ecological footprint. For more information about the ecological footprint, go to footprintnetwork.org.
5. Encourages creativity in the kitchen.
How many meals can you think of that don’t use meat? I couldn’t think of many. If your family is a meat and potatoes kind of bunch, a meatless dinner they’ll like may sound impossible, but it’s do-able. Meatlessmonday.com has lots of recipes and meal ideas. You can also try The Food Network Blog. Lots of food bloggers and recipe sites now have sections for Meatless Monday as well.
Monday’s the day most people choose to make a lifestyle change, such as quitting smoking or starting to exercise.
Give Meatless Monday a try. You may not even miss the meat.
Do you think Meatless Monday is something you’d like to do? Please share any meal ideas for meatless meals.