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Meatless Monday Movement
I enjoy eating meat. Not surprising since many of my fond childhood memories involve my dad and the BBQ. Recently I have been struggling with this lifestyle choice. I am trying to weigh the value of eating a living thing for survival. Our bodies are designed and can digest meat, so how wrong can it be? However, there is a good chance the animals I am eating are not ethically raised or killed. This dilemma is compounded by the destructive way we raise, process, and ship our meat products. While I weigh this choice, I have been cutting down my meat consumption and am researching more about the treatment of livestock. During this search I found Meatless Monday. This movement is trying to reduce our consumption of meat and help improve both people’s personal health and the environment.
Meatless Monday draws its inspiration from World War 1, where the government rallied the people to voluntarily reduce their consumption of key staples to help with the war. Meatless Monday and Wheatless Wednesday were created to support this effort. Thousands of hotels, hundreds of thousands of food dealers and millions of individuals pledged to observe a meatless day. This effort was revived once again during World War 2. Then in 2003 Sid Lerner reintroduced us to Meatless Monday as a public health awareness campaign. The campaign is backed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
What I love about this movement is they are not asking for anything extreme. All they ask is to give up meat one day a week. This would theoretically cut our meat consumption by 15%. Cutting meat out of your diet once a week may reduce your risk of chronic conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Any reduction in your meat consumption will reduce your carbon footprint and save resources. Monday’s were chosen because studies suggest that behaviors begun on Monday are more likely maintained throughout the week.
Check out their website www.meatlessmonday.com to learn more about the movement. Their site provides tons of meatless recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. If getting people to stop eating meat is something you are passionate about, they also provide a list of places that have agreed to not serve meat on Monday. Check if your school, hospital, or office cafeteria is on the list. If not, maybe you can inspire them to join the movement.