By Sarah Wanless
Meatless Monday is a global movement initiated by the Meatless Monday NGO that encourages people to eat meatless meals every Monday. The premise behind this initiative is to promote the health of both humans and the planet. Reducing your consumption of meat, even just once a week, has shown massive benefits for both human health and for the planet. The thinking behind picking a Monday, besides from the wonderful alliteration, is premised around the fact that Monday’s are the start of the week when we all have the best intentions, which leads to starting off your week on a healthier note and is shown to lead to positive habitual health related changes.
Here are 7 reasons for committing to Meatless Monday:
- Health benefits – By reducing your intake of meat, which is usually high in fat and cholesterol content, you reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
- Glowing skin – fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants which do wonders for the skin.
- Less bloat – Meat products are a lot harder for our bodies to digest with many manufactured meat products, like bacon, having additives like sodium. This can cause stomach pain and even bloating. Ditching the meat one day a week can result in less bloat and gives your gastrointestinal system a break from all that hard work.
- Weight loss – As previously mentioned animal products are higher in fat and cholesterol which can, if eaten in excess, contribute to weight gain. Eating suitable vegetarian meals one day a week has been shown to contribute towards weight loss.
- It supports a healthier environment – The rate and scale of meat production uses a lot more natural resources (water, fossil fuels and land) than the farming of vegetables and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing your meat intake therefore reduces your carbon footprint. Every little bit helps and going meatless one day a week scales back your resource consumption.
- It’s kinder – While humans have always consumed meat, the scale and rate of production has increased in an unsustainable way, especially with commercial meat producers. So, while it is natural to consume meat, the methods of farming and killing livestock are no longer natural. It is estimated that one individual committing to Meatless Monday saves 28 land animals and 175 aquatic animals annually.
- It’s easy – Think of your three favourite meals, chances are one of them doesn’t contain meat (like ooey gooey Mac & Cheese), making it the perfect Meatless Monday meal. There are also many delicious meat substitutes that will satisfy even the most seasoned burger connoisseur’s tastebuds. Can’t think of a meal? Online resources, like Pinterest, are full of meatless meal inspiration to help turn your Meatless Monday into your favourite day of the week.