I am proposing Meatless Monday’s to you for two reasons. The first reason is health and the second reason is the environment. Or you could look at it the other way, environment first, health second. But whichever way you look at it, you can’t go wrong. Both reasons are beneficial to you, the animals, and the environment.
For health-According to a recent study from the American Heart Association, there is a clear connection between meat consumption and a stroke. Their analysis published in the AHA journal, STROKE, found that the consumption of fresh and processed red meat is significantly higher with risk of total stroke. Each serving of meat increased this risk by 11-13%.
Also, according the AHA, about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke every year, with someone dying every 4 minutes. With stroke, heart disease, and cancer on the rise, you can’t afford not to. The Meatless Monday campaign is to help people cut down on the amount of meat to reduce some risk.
For the environment-Agriculture is responsible for the 14% of the world’s greenhouse gases. A significant portion of these gases come from methane gas which is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming which is comparable to the pollution produced by cars. So if we cut back 1 day a week, we can reduce the amount of methane gas produced by the animals. You could even carpool that day to cut back even more. Every little bit we do together today, makes a huge impact for the future tomorrow.
Monday is the beginning of the calendar work week for everyone. Plus, the name sounds way catchier than Meatless Tuesday’s. Most of us begin our week on Monday and set intentions to eat healthier after the weekends. So why not start the week off right by eating meatless. There are so many protein rich meatless meals that you won’t even miss your meat. To find great meatless ideas, go to www.meatlessmonday.com . But, if you do happen to forget and possibly can’t do it that day, please pick a day of the week that works for you.
THE STORY BEHIND MEATLESS MONDAY
Meatless Monday’s was founded by a marketing professional named Sid Lerner in 2003. He was diagnosed with high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. He was advised to eat less meat and more fruit and vegetables. He proposed a campaign that targeted both the health of people and the planet. He came up with Monday for a multitude of reason and thought it would be a healthy start to the beginning of the week. A weekly reminder to eat healthy every week helps people stay consistent. The concept came from WWI when the FDA in the US rationed families to reduce consumption of key staples to help the war. One of these items was meat so the term “Meatless Monday “was to remind them to reduce meat intake during the war on this day. Sid Lerner spread Meatless Monday awareness through schools and campuses around the world. It has even caught on globally today.
Red meat and processed meats are associated with cancers and heart disease. Meat has saturated fat that will increase your cholesterol. Even lean cuts of meat have fat marbled in it that you can’t see. Eating saturated fats on a daily basis will promote many diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. By reducing your intake of meat, you reduce your risk of these diseases. By eating more fruit and vegetables in place of meat, you will reduce your risk of cancer. You will improve your nutrition; therefore improve your overall health. Studies say people who eat low meat or vegetarians, have lower body fat and overall live longer lives. One day a week meat-free can’t hurt you.
You can reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of meat you intake. The less meat you eat, the less demand for it therefore it will reduce carbon emissions. Agriculture uses a lot of water. You can minimize water usage by eating less meat. It will also reduce fossil fuel demand. If everyone did this one day a week, the world could be a healthier planet.
To build a better world in the future we all need to make changes in our lifestyles now. Not all the changes we have to make are easy; and not all the easy changes we can make are meaningful. But making just one day a week a meat-free day really is the little thing that can make a big difference. By making a simple change in the way you eat, you are taking part in a world changing campaign where what’s good for you is also good for the planet.