Meatless Mondays: an easy way to start eating greener

The Meatless Monday Campaign started with the aim of encouraging people to stop eating meat for just one day a week. The goal of Meatless Monday is to reduce the high rates of preventable illnesses and environmental impacts associated with meat production and excessive meat consumption.

Across the globe people are eating more meat. While this may sound like progress, ongoing research shows that the increasing global production of meat has negative consequences for our health, the environment, climate and communities.

A meat-free diet helps the environment

Meat production accounts for nearly 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This makes it a major driver of climate change. Also, livestock agriculture uses a disproportionate amount of the world’s fresh water, arable land and fossil fuel.

The increasing global demand for meat drives the livestock sector, furthering intensive animal confinement and misuse of antibiotics and thus contributing to the growing public health crisis of antibiotic resistance and animal-to-human spread of diseases, and the loss of natural habitats of endangered species.

A meat-free diet can help your health

Diets that contain a lot of meat (especially if they are also low in fruits and vegetables) are associated with adverse health outcomes like cancer, heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Being healthier also helps the environment as less resources are used treating illness and manufacturing drugs.

So what can we do?

The evidence continues to grow. Reducing the amount of meat we consume globally is necessary —but shifting towards more plant-based diets will require multiple approaches, but an easy way to get started is to make you diet meat free for just one day a week.

Meatless Monday began in 2003 and has grown into a global movement powered by a network of participating individuals, hospitals, schools, worksites and restaurants around the world.

For more information, check out their website www.meatlessmonday.com

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