Meet Meatless Mondays.

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Almost two years ago, I watched Racing Extinction and first learned about how harmful the livestock industry is on our Earth. I was so affected by what I heard that I decided to trial ditching meat with my sister. Turns out I didn’t really miss it and never went back.

Giving up meat completely just might not be an option for you and that’s OK. Each of our unique lifestyles make certain dietary choices harder than others. Because I travel frequently, I’ve opted to keep fish in the equation to ensure I get enough protein when I’m on the road. My boyfriend decided he wasn’t ready to give up meat entirely, but could give up all red meat. We don’t need to bring everything down to zero in order to make a positive impact. Consider Meatless Mondays and see where that gets you.

If you haven’t heard of Meatless Mondays your parents or grandparents may have. It’s genesis was actually during World War I when the U.S. Food Administration wanted to reduce the certain foods to support the war effort. At that time, over 13 million families signed a pledge to participate in the campaign.

In 2003, a health advocate named Sid Lerner, brought Meatless Mondays back into the public sphere in an effort to draw attention to the impact of meat on both our health and our planet. Since then it’s blossomed into a global movement – one that you can participate in free of charge (you might actually save a little money in the process).

According to The Earth Day Network,

  1. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide – more than the entire transportation sector!
  2. Producing meat also requires a huge amount of water
  3. The livestock industry also uses almost 50% of the corn produced in the United States as feed for the animals.
  4. And if the entire U.S. did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.

So why Mondays? Alliteration aside, research has shown that Mondays are a great day to make positive changes. Not to mention, we all tend to indulge a bit on the weekends – your body will thank you when you eat a bit lighter as you enter into the week. So, give it a shot, take the pledge (and tell your friends to keep the movement going).

photocred: @mikeanderson

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