We’ve all heard of the movement, and if you live on campus, you are forced to be a part of it. But Meatless Monday is actually an easy, healthy, and active way for you to save global carbon emissions and water. Here are five reasons why Meatless Monday is more than just another trendy thing to join.
1. It’s a worldwide trend. Meatless Monday began in 2003 and was launched by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Since its start, the movement has progressively expanded to 36 countries worldwide and is actively practiced in schools, hospitals, restaurants, and workplaces. UCSC introduced their Meatless Monday campaign in 2009, and they are not alone. According to the Meatless Monday Campaign, over 140 college campuses worldwide are pledging to offer vegetarian options in their dining halls every Monday.
2. You can learn new cooking skills. If you have always wanted to try exciting new recipes, but have never had the motivation to, Meatless Monday can be your newfound inspiration. Start a new Pinterest board named Monday recipes, pick up a vegetarian cookbook, or make up your own. The options are endless and delicious.
3. You’ll be able to identify with vegetarians. We all know someone who is a vegetarian. After a meal with them, you always feel slightly bad about eating meat, and if they’re really a diehard, it can even make you think about becoming a vegetarian. By participating in Meatless Monday, you can say with sincerity that you do care about the inhumane practices of factory farming. According to the Humane Society’s report on Meatless Monday, if all Americans went without meat each Monday, more than 1 billion animals would be spared from factory farming.
4. It provides many health benefits. Choosing to go meatless once a week can significantly reduce your chance of heart disease, stroke, and various types of cancer, diabetes, and obesity. By eating more vegetables and plant-based proteins, you are increasing your levels of crucial nutrients like iron, fiber, and magnesium which are all essential in a well balanced diet.
5. It really is good for the environment. Meat Free Monday will not stop climate change or end the current drought, but by joining you can make significant reductions in your personal carbon footprint. According the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the meat industry contributes to one-fifth of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The Meatless Monday website offers shocking statistics about how much of an impact Meatless Monday does make on the environment. If all of the U.S would go meat free once a week, it would be the same as taking 19.2 million cars off the road. Raising livestock is a water intensive practice. We could each save up to 2,500 gallons of water per pound of beef we eliminate by taking the pledge.
So take the pledge to eat meat free every Monday, and join the environmental movement.