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Simply Sustainable: Going Meatless One Day a Week

You do not have to completely change your diet to live a more sustainable life! Being more conscious about your eating habits and being willing to make small lifestyle changes can be more beneficial then you might think! 

Going meatless one day a week is beneficial to not only the environment but to your health as well. If you are trying to incorporate a vegetarian diet into your lifestyle, you do not need to quit meat all at once. A gradual transition is a great technique that works for all kind of lifestyle changes. 

History Behind Meatless Monday:

Nowadays, Meatless Monday is a global campaign that is aimed at lowering environmental harm and improving people's health. But this campaign can actually be traced back to World War I, where it went by Meatless Tuesdays and Wheatless Wednesdays. Americans were prompted to limit their meat, sugar, fat and wheat consumption to help feed American soldiers and struggling allies. 

This was actually a great success, over the span of just one week hotels in New York City saved 96.75 tons of meat during 1917 and in American households there was a 15% reduction in consumption between the years of 1918-1919. Although the circumstances are not the same, it is inspiring to see American's coming together to make a necessary change -- something we could learn from now. 

More recently in history, Meatless Tuesdays was re-invented into Meatless Mondays. Now focusing on health and environmental benefits that can come with reduced meat consumption. Global campaigns like Meatless Monday are great ways for the diverse population to unite under a common and positive cause. 

Health and Environmental Benefits of Reduced Meat Consumption:

Research says, Monday is a great day to promote going meatless because its the beginning of the week and people feel good about starting the week of right. Similar to making New Years Resolutions in January, almost like a reset!

Cutting out meat just one day a week can help you:

  • Reduce the risk of future heart disease 
  • Reduce of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes 
  • Reduce the risk of unwanted weight-gain
  • Support healthy kidneys and other organs 

Reducing meat consumption is also majorly beneficial to the environment. It can help:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Reduce the demand for resources like land, water, and energy 

Livestock production actually produces more greenhouse gas emissions then the ENITRE transportation sector -- not just cars but trucks, planes and trains. It also requires about 75% of the earths agricultural land, and uses up massive amounts of water and energy to support production. 

Back in 2018 the UN released its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it stated that the planet is warming at an alarming rate that is even faster then expected. Our world is entering a crisis and if we don't unite to make change we could see major loss and destruction in the near future. 

What can you do:

You do not have to completely cut out meat, just going meatless one day a week decreases your consumption by 15%! We can all do our part in reducing our carbon footprint by collectively making conscious decision about our food consumption. 

Eat better meat. Purchasing meat that is sustainably produced might be more expensive but it is better for the environment and is probably more delicious. 

When cooking, instead of making your meal revolved around a meat entree try buying a cheaper cut of meat and use it to compliment or flavor a veggie based meal. 

This is not aimed at telling you to make a complete life change but to encourage everyone to be more conscious about their lifestyle decisions and try something new for only one day a week. Conscious sustainable decisions is the best way individuals can do their part! 

Resources:
https://www.mondaycampaigns.org/meatless-monday/benefits#:~:text=Meatless%20Monday%20is%20a%20simple,non%2Dprofit%20public%20health%20initiative.
https://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/history-meatless-mondays/
https://www.ipcc.ch/

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