Meatless Monday is a global campaign that aims at convincing people not to eat meat on Mondays. In this way, meat consumption is reduced which is beneficial for the environment.
Meatless Monday was founded in 2003 by Sid Lerner in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The campaign soon spread throughout the rest of the world. Meatless Monday is now active in 44 countries and continues to grow.
Eating less meat has a lot of advantages – not only for animals but also for you, your nation’s health, and the planet. I share these advantages with you to help you decide whether it would be worth it.
You’ll prove your love for animals
First of all, the idea of eating an animal is, in itself, problematic for many people.
“I have seen how badly animals are mistreated and how it makes no sense to kill an innocent animal for nutrients and vitamins that you could get from plants without causing any violence,” Kayla Wheeldon, a vegan, says.
Adelle Basson, vegetarian and animal lover, shares that eating meat is against her morals.
“All livestock are intelligent animals that have emotions, form close relationships, and can definitely feel pain and fear. I believe every individual, human or animal, has the right to live a full life. After doing research on animal agriculture, I knew that, as someone who respects all life, I could not support the industry anymore or ever eat an animal again.”
You’ll reduce greenhouse gas emission
“Animal agriculture is the leading source of greenhouse gas emission,” says vegan Jaime Gray.
Transportation of animals and animal products increases fuel emission. The CO² created by livestock and their by-products makes up 51% of the world’s total CO² emission. Cows produce large amounts of methane gas (which is more destructive that CO² in the long run) daily.
In short? If you eat less meat, you will reduce your carbon footprint.
You’ll fight the drought
Animal agriculture uses a lot of water. About 5 000 to 20 000 litres of water are needed to produce 1kg of meat, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers reports. For every burger skipped, you can save enough water to shower with for the next two and half months, in fact.
You’ll help reduce world hunger
Most grain produced is fed to livestock that is raised to be slaughtered for their meat. If grain currently being fed to animals were given to people living in severely poor conditions, there would be much less famine in the world.
You’ll be an ocean-saver
Commercial fishers keep on taking resources out of the ocean without giving anything back.
“Huge factory trawlers, coupled with our increasing appetites for seafood, are emptying the oceans of sea life at an alarming pace,” according to the documentary Earthlings (2005).
Fishing vessels also pollute the ocean, killing sea life. By not eating seafood, we will oppose the damage being done to the ocean and everything living in it.
You’ll be healthier if you stop eating meat
Some vegans, like Romance Tokyoïte (Antastesia), believe that eating meat is bad for your body. Research supports this: eating less meat reduces your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
Besides, plants offer the nutrients and vitamins that we get from eating meat, Kayla explains. Plant-based foods like beans, lentils and broccoli are also rich in protein, but with the added benefit that they do not increase cholesterol levels.
“You have the duty to stop eating meat,” Tokyoïte says. Can you not be selfless enough to fulfil this duty by going meatless at least once a week?
Are you interested in launching Meatless Monday in your community? Download the campaign’s global toolkit from its website and become part of the movement! The kit contains useful steps, scientific research and links to additional tools that will help you introduce the movement and form relationships with organizations in your community.