Meatless Monday is an international campaign promoting people to become vegetarians for a day a week to improve personal health and mitigate carbon footprints.
Though the concept of Meatless Monday has been around since World War I, a large public awareness campaign was only launched in America in 2003, resurrecting the idea as a result of the growing health concerns. The movement made its way to Australia in 2009 and today many countries across the globe have become a part of it - Britain, Brazil, Norway, Japan, Canada, Taiwan, Croatia and Holland, to name a few.
Why meatless? In an effort to stay healthy and eat well, people often forget that too much meat (read protein) cannot always be good for the body as it can trigger cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even cancer. So, the idea is cut meat consumption by 15% (equivalent of one day a week), reducing the risk of these preventable chronic diseases and thereby also limiting the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the meat industry.
Replacing your meat intake with legumes, nuts, tofu, seeds, grains, seeds, in addition to fresh fruits, vegetables and other organic foods can go a long way in lessening your vulnerability to chronic ailments.
Why Monday? Studies indicate that habits initiated on Mondays are more likely to be followed throughout the week. Since it's the first day of the week, it psychologically helps us to set a routine for the week ahead. Thus Monday is considered the best day to begin a journey towards personal and environmental well-being.
According to the figures, animal industries account for 30% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. And considering the fact that this is the driest inhabited continent on the planet, we are most susceptible to the adverse effects of global warming and climate change.
Another astounding statistic suggests that it requires more than 50,000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of beef while, it takes less than 1,900 litres of water to produce one kilogram of soy or up to 1,500 litres to yield one kilogram of rice. Imagine the impact it will have on the ecosystem, if everyone avoided meat even one day a week.
The movement is slowly but steadily gaining popularity across the globe. Supporting the cause are many noted international names like, Al Gore, Lance Armstrong, Sir Paul McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss, Richard Greene and Simon Cowell.
I love the idea of this campaign. People need to realize that simply eating less meat is the first step, and they don’t necessarily need to go completely vegetarian to make an impact. I hope people will learn how delicious vegetarian food can be!
By Joanna Eng - senior reviewer Saturday, 9th of April @ 02:36 pm
I second your opinion. It’s small steps like these that make the difference. To be honest, I was quite amazed by the facts and figures when I began researching on the subject. I’ve always been a supporter of vegetarianism but while speaking with a friend who’s an environmental scientist, I also realised the impact of such a movement on the ecosystem. The health benefits that ensue are well-deserved perks.
By A Behl - senior writer Wednesday, 29th of June @ 02:39 am