How about pledging to only eat vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, and dairy on Mondays? —one day dedicated to not eating meat. Cutting back on meat eating promotes good health and reduces carbon footprints.
How did Meatless Monday Get Started?
Meatless Monday was started in the United States in 2003 by the Monday Campaigns—a public health project promoting healthy actions at the beginning of each week. Other Monday campaigns are “Quit and Stay Quit Monday”, “Move it Monday”, and “Cook Monday.”
From a national campaign in the United States, Meatless Monday became a global movement with campaigns in 36 countries. Meatless Mondays Canada is coordinated by leading regional organizations: Earthsave Canada in B.C., Lundi sans Viande in Quebec, 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 fiber intake,
- Vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fruits are rich sources of vitamins and minerals,
- 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 methane 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.
Here are ways to get involved with Meatless Monday:
- 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.
- Follow campaigns on Facebook or Twitter.
- Get campaigns going in your workplace, school, local restaurant, or other organization. Make use of information kits and posters provided by Meatless Monday websites.