Meatless Mondays

How about pledging to only eat vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, seeds, and dairy products on Mondays? —one day per week dedicated to not eating meat.

This morning I joined the Meatless Monday project on the United States website and this evening, on the Canadian website. Cutting back on meat eating promotes good health and reduces your carbon footprint.  

How did Meatless Monday Get Started?

Meatless Monday was initially started in the United States in 2003 by the Monday Campaigns—a project of public health schools promoting healthy actions at the beginning of each week.  Other Monday campaigns are “Quit and Stay Quit Monday”, “Move it Monday”, “Monday 2000” and “Healthy Monday”.

From a national campaign in the United States, Meatless Monday has become a global movement with campaigns in Canada, the U.K., Holland, Brazil, Taiwan, and Australia.   Meatless Mondays Canada is coordinated by  leading regional organizations:  Earthsave Canada in B.C.,  Lundi sans Viande in Quebec,  Meatless Monday in Western Canada, and the Toronto Vegetarian Association in Ontario.

Healthy Bodies and Healthy Planet

Meatless Monday may have started out as a health campaign, but it soon became an environmental initiative as well.   Its two key objectives are promoting individual health and the health of our planet.

 How is it healthier to eat less meat?

  • Reduces saturated fat and cholesterol,
  • Increases fibre intake,
  • More vitamins and minerals are found in vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fruits,
  • Reduces risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

 How is eating less meat healthier for the environment?

  • Meat agriculture uses more land, water, and fossil fuels than plant agriculture, and
  • Livestock raising increases greenhouse gas emissions.

 Who Supports Meatless Monday?

The campaign has spread into the community—into schools, college campuses, cities, and restaurants.  Celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Al Gore, and Paul McCartney, to name a few, have spoken out in favour of the project.  From individuals making pledges,  to school cafeterias going meatless on Mondays, the initiative is catching on in the United States and worldwide.

How Can People Get Involved?

Here are ways to get involved with Meatless Monday:

  1.  Don’t eat meat on Monday—fairly obvious, but easier said than done for many folks.  Check out one or more meatless Monday websites, such as meatlessmonday.com and meatlessmondays.ca, for inspiration, recipes, and newsletter subscriptions.
  2. Follow campaigns on Facebook or Twitter.
  3. Get campaigns going in your workplace, school, local restaurant, or other organization.  Make use of information kits and posters provided at the United States website.

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