There has been a new craze sweeping over the world for the past few years. Dubbed, “Meatless Mondays”, the concept is simple. Replace one day a week, Monday or any other, with meals where meat is substituted or removed from the menu. This seemingly miniscule change has far reaching effects from helping the plight of animals in factory farming conditions, to improving your personal health, all the way to saving the devastating effects that the meat industry has on the environment. It's not everyday that you wake up and think, “I'm going to make the world a better place today!”, and it doesn't have to be everyday. Give meatless Mondays a try and do your part for just one day a week.
The critical crux where those who promote veganism or vegetarianism go astray is in their all or nothing approach. Change in almost every situation is not immediate, and a meatless diet is no different. It takes a gradual progression and steady improvement upon one situation to realize flaws and make a lasting change possible. Removing the meat from the table and the kitchen for just one day a week has so many more effects than you could even begin to imagine.
For the Animals:
Over 150 million animals are killed each day for food consumption. That is a staggering number. Over 3,000 animals a second are slaughtered so that we can eat them. No matter who you are, what you, and what you believe in those numbers are hard to swallow. Animals are our pets, our friends, and our companions. There was recently a huge deal about horse meat being found in what was supposed to be beef products. This just shows how all “meat” is basically the same. It is the body of a once living, breathing animal, that if given the choice, would still be alive. It is not our place to enslave the natural world for our greed. A meatless day of the week can spare the lives of millions of animals over time.
For the Planet:
If you take into consideration the amount of water, grain and land that 150 million animals each day need to have used, or taken up at one point, you can quickly realize how big of an impact animal farming has on every single aspect of our lives, on our planet, and for our sustainability. Imagine how heavy those big two gallon jugs of water are when you see them in the store. Now realize that it takes about 2,000 gallons of water for a single pound of beef to be produced. A quarter pound hamburger? In beef alone that meat took over 500 gallons of water to produce. Removing meat from your diet for a single day a week can help reduce your carbon footprint, help conserve resources, and turn back the hands of destruction that we take so much for granted on our planet.
For Your Health:
Saving the planet and helping little animals is all well and good but what's in it for you? Most of us were raised on meat and the taste is not only a comfort, but a standard of food in our minds. The fact of the matter is that in nature, meat would not have nearly the presence that it does in a modern person's diet. In fact, acquired disease is rampant largely in part due to the overconsumption of large amounts of animal proteins. There has been a plethora of research not only linking red meat consumption directly to colon cancer, but that diets high in fruits and vegetable significantly lower cancer risks. It doesn't end at cancer. Diets with large amounts of meat and high fat dairy and other animal products are linked directly to type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. The link between meat and preventable illness is no longer up for debate. Choosing to opt of of eating meat for simply one day a week will not only help the planet and the animals, but it will give you a better quality of life, a better conscience and a longer life as well.
For Your Lifestyle:
Choosing a meat free day of the week can open up your world to an entirely new side of discovery. You'll end up trying new foods, whether meat substitutes or ethnic cuisines that you may have never even heard of before. Many asian cuisines and middle eastern dishes are meat free by chance and will allow you to explore exotic and tasty dishes that might even become your new favorites. With the growing acceptance and exploration of vegan foods and meat free alternatives you don't have to substitute taste for compassion, or blandness for bacon. There are entire sections of the grocery store that can help you find meat free alternatives that taste amazing.
Meatless Mondays may be a catchy phrase, but at the end of the day it really is just a term to describe bettering ourselves and our planet. There are tons of famous people, who are meat eaters and always will be, who have adopted this one day a week exclusion of meat. Famous, world class chefs such as Curtis Stone, Mario Batalli, and Giada De Laurentiis have all taken the pledge to go meat free for one day a week. If people who know exactly how good meat can be can make this decision you can too. Join up with all of us who have pledged at least one day a week meat free!