Sunday, October 17, 2010
Dubbed Meatless Mondays, the worldwide initiative is about cutting back meat consumption once a week for the sake of your health, budget, animal welfare, global hunger and the environment.
Part-time vegetarians, or “flexitarians” as they’re known, say it’s not a vegetarian movement, but about meat eaters doing their bit.
“It’s a creative way of getting people to think about what they’re eating, as well as about the planet,” says public health advocate and yoga therapist Vinita Chopra, who co-founded Meatless Mondays Australia in December 2009 after the movement took off in the US.
“Not everybody can buy a hybrid car or cycle to work,” she says.
“It may not be appropriate or affordable for them, whereas this is something you can do in your home and actually help the environment and your health and well being at the same time.”
The Meatless Mondays movement was first launched in the US in 2003 by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, primarily as a health initiative to help Americans reduce their saturated fat intake by 15 per cent.
From 2006, it took on a wider and more urgent appeal when the United Nations released a report showing that the global livestock industry was responsible for 18 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire transport sector combined.
Since then, groups advocating reduced meat consumption have been springing up around the world, from Canada and Brazil to Japan and Taiwan.
Meat-free menus are now being promoted in hospitals and schools across Europe and the US. In Baltimore alone, 80,000 schoolchildren dine meat-free in their cafeterias on Mondays, and in 2009 vegetarian Paul McCartney launched the Meat Free Monday campaign with his two daughters in the UK.
Other celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon, including Chris Martin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ricky Gervais, Sir Richard Branson and Sheryl Crow, as well as chefs such as Spago’s Wolfgang Puck and Tal Ronnen (the chef behind Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day Cleanse).
Many restaurants now offer extra vegetarian options on Mondays, and even sustainable fishing advocates are getting in on the action. see full story
WHY EAT LESS MEAT? 6 Incredible Soup Recipes
You’ll boost your heath. Excess meat consumption is linked to heart disease, bowel and stomach cancer and diabetes. You’ll lose weight. You’ll save money. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint.
Join the Monday Movement