Updated: Jul 26, 2022
Hoping you have heard of the phrase “Meatless Monday” before you clicked on this blog post, but even if you have there is never too much you can learn about it. I am still learning myself. When people mention the word ~sustainability~ I often find myself talking about small changes people can make in their everyday lives that can have a big impact if a lot of people actually make a change. Oftentimes everyone seems to agree; but at the same time you also get this… “But I’m just one person. I am making no difference by not using a plastic straw at the restaurant” or “by not eating meat on Mondays” or “by not ordering my clothes from fast fashion websites” … and the list goes on.
But no. You are making a difference.
As humans a lot of us are scared of change. Scared of trying something new because we are afraid of failure. Scared of switching up our daily routines because by doing that we may lead ourselves to feel uncomfortable; and many times we don’t change simply because we don't know how. Here is the good news. These posts are going to teach you.
So what exactly is “Meatless Monday”?
“Meatless Monday is a global movement that encourages people to reduce meat in their diet for their health and the health of the planet.” (If you’re interested in learning more about Meatless Monday click here to check out their website or keep reading!)
It’s simple AND it’s sustainable.
Related Article - The “New”, Sustainable Protein
Minimal reduction in meat consumption has the potential to yield big changes. Not only for your personal health but for the health of the environment! Consider the cost of mass meat production, for example, and what is actually involved. Raising enough animals to feed millions of people requires food, water, transportation, energy, etc. which in turn leads to a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas emissions. One eye opening example is that approximately 2,000 gallons of water are needed in order to produce one pound of beef (holy cow)! In addition to mass meat production, raising cattle for livestock also requires the usage of a significant amount of land. This ultimately intensifies the effects of mass processed meat production and its carbon footprint due to deforestation. (Click here to learn more about meat consumption, health, and the environment).
As for your personal health, research has found that reducing meat
consumption can decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Simple substitutions, such as adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, have the potential to promote healthy outcomes such as maintenance of a healthy body weight, protection of kidneys, as well as improved concentration. Alternative protein sources include beans, nuts, legumes, lentils, etc. (Be sure to check out Meatless Monday’s recipe tab for more meal ideas!)
The most interesting part about this is that everyone knows it! These examples are just a few of the many impacts that mass production and consumption of processed meat has on both our health and the health of the environment.
Let me be the first to say… I love myself a hamburger from time to time. Steak on the grill? Count me in!
But... be mindful. You have so much power to make an impact. Start small and you will be surprised!
Limiting the production and consumption of processed meat is not the “end all be all” solution for the environmental and health issues prevalent today, however it is a good place to start. Meat consumption has become a social norm in American society and is viewed as a crucial part of the diet. So, inevitably, changing this will be a challenge. However, that is not to say that it is impossible. Becoming educated on the topic is the first step! Giving yourself access to the tools to make a change is a great place to start and by reading this blog you are doing just that!
I hope you enjoyed reading about Meatless
Monday and carry what you learned here with you in the future! Thanks for reading :)
Tik tok - “How To” quinoa salad recipe on TikTok!
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