Meatless Monday History
During the time of World War I, US President Woodrow Wilson declared every Tuesday to be meatless. Along with one meatless meal to be observed every day.
It was mainly to reduce consumption of key staples to help the war effort and avoid rationing.
The United States Food Administration (USFA) created the slogan “Food Will Win the War.” They coined the terms “Meatless Tuesday” and “Wheatless Wednesday.” In order to remind US citizens to reduce intake of those products.
The campaign later resurfaced once again with World War II on hand. Slogans such as “Meatless Tuesday” and “Poultryless Thursday” continued throughout the autumn of 1947.
The meatless Monday campaign was restarted in 2003 as a health initiative. The campaign was endorsed by the Center for a Livable Future together with over twenty public health schools.
Later in April 2009, Meatless Monday launched an informational video. Showing the impacts of meat consumption on climate change.
5 Benefits of Meatless Monday
There are many benefits of meatless Monday. Going meatless once a week helps to lower your carbon footprint. It also helps to protect the already scarce freshwater reserves. Additionally, you’ll save some cash while purchasing plant-based foods.
There are many health benefits of going meatless on Monday as well.
Some of the health benefits of Meatless Monday include:
1. Lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Excessive consumption of processed and red meat increases your risk of colorectal cancer. Red meat has been classified as a group 2A carcinogen meaning it probably causes cancer. Replacing your meat diet with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of cancer.
2. Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. It is another health benefit of meatless Monday. Consuming red and processed meat on a daily basis increases your chances of Type 2 diabetes. Substituting meat with a plant-based protein, such as nuts, chickpeas, beans, lentils, tofu, etc. lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes.
3. A healthy heart. It is one of the health benefits of going meatless on Monday. One study showed that processed meat consumption is associated with a 42 percent higher incidence of coronary heart. Coronary heart disease (CHD) develops when cholesterol builds up on the artery walls. Diets rich in natural antioxidants lower your risk of suffering from heart diseases. Fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes are rich in natural antioxidants and benefit cardio-health. Replacing meat with fruits and veggies is actually heart-healthy. Since most of the fruits and veggies are rich in fiber. Fiber is good for promoting a healthy heart and lowering the risk of suffering from heart diseases.
4. Lower risk of Obesity. Processes and red meat are linked with obesity. Diet rich in saturated fats can make you overweight and obese. For a person to become obese, he/she should have a BMI of 30 and above. Switching to plant-based foods can lower the risk of obesity.
5. Weight Management. It is one of the health benefits of going meatless once a week. Losing weight becomes a possibility when you switch to a greener diet. A greener diet consists of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Thus helping you to maintain healthy body weight.
Red meat such as land, beef, and pork are full of saturated fats. Saturated fat might not be as bad as trans-fat but still affects your health adversely.
On the contrary, foods rich in nuts and seed helps to improve concentration. It helps you to live a long and healthy life one that is disease-free.
Impacts of Animal Farming on the Environment
The meatless Monday campaign aims to protect the environment by lowering meat consumption.
The meat industry is thriving on our carvings for more and more meat every day. It is harming the environment in more than one way.
Here are some of the impacts caused by the meat industries such as poultry, beef, pork, etc.
- Deforestation and destruction of natural habitat. The beef industry is the major contributor to deforestation in the world’s tropical forests. It alone contributes to double the production of palm oil, soy, and wood products combined. Animal agriculture requires a vast amount of land. Since the majority of the fertile land on earth has been already occupied, they are clearing the forest area.
- Water Crisis. Farm animals need millions of gallons of drinking water every day. Causing the already scarce freshwater sources a greater burden. As a result, many freshwater sources have been used up and many more are on the brink of dying.
- Water and air pollution. Farm animals need to poop and urinate too. Since they are huge in number(numbering up to 70 billion), their waste production is humungous. They contribute to water pollution due to urination and manure disposal on rivers and lakes. It also results in air pollution when their feces get decomposed in the open air.
- Greenhouse gases and global warming. Animal farming is a major contributor to greenhouse gases. Farm animals contribute to roughly 20 percent of all human-induced greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are the major contributor to Global warming due to the greenhouse effect. Our planet is getting hotter and hotter and it is causing the polar ice to melt at an alarming speed.
- Soil degradation. Livestock production is directly responsible for soil erosion. It contributes to 85% of all soil erosion in the United States. Soil erosion occurs when extensive grazing takes place in the grasslands. Additionally, when too many animals graze on the same land, the soil gets damaged by their hooves.
- Loss of biodiversity. Animal agriculture is converting species-rich natural ecosystems to arable land and pastures. It is causing native species to become extinct. These native species include animals, birds, insects, and microbes. It can eliminate 30-90 percent of the biodiversity depending on the agricultural intensity.
The environment is something that we cannot ignore since our lives are linked to it. We are entirely dependent on the environment for our survival.
Thus it would be a great help to the environment from your side if you decide to go meatless even for a day a week.
Why Meatless Monday and Not Meatless Tuesday?
There’s a scientific reason why we follow meatless on Mondays and not meatless Tuesday.
People are more open to new ideas and commitments starting from Monday’s study suggests.
Mondays being the first day of the week, people prefer to start fresh and will more likely adapt to new ideas.
Be it business-related decisions or diet plans and health-related decisions.
Furthermore, evidence suggests that health-related thinking is at an all-time high on Mondays.
Thus making it the perfect day for dietitians to manipulate people into adapting to a healthy diet plan.
And things don’t just end here. The study also reveals that starting new healthy routines on Monday helps people to sustain their routine in the long run.
Therefore Mondays can be used as a powerful manipulative tool. When trying to motivate people to adapt to new health routines and healthy diet plans.
How to go meatless on Monday?
The meatless Monday campaign is for someone who wants to protect the environment and live a healthy life.
If you believe that you are the one then joining the Meatless Monday campaign would help.
The campaign is plane easy to get started and there’s no time limit nor compulsion for you to continue.
So you can leave anytime you want in case you do not find it suitable for you.
But that’s just an assumption. In fact, there’s a 100% chance that you’d stick to meatless Mondays for the rest of your life.
Want to prove it wrong? Why not give this meatless Monday challenge a try and see it for yourself?
Here are a few working tips to get you started on Meatless Monday:
1. Invite your friends and family
Involving your friends and family is always a great idea when it comes to trying out new things. This way you get the motivation needed to push ahead.
Your friends and family might as well like the idea of going meatless on Mondays. This way you’ll have company and as the saying goes “More the merrier”. You’d actually have a great time going meatless together.
You can decide on the menu, one that is plant-based or consists of healthy fish instead. There’s no harm in eating fish for the dinner during meatless Mondays.
Since fishes are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids beneficial for your heart health. They are also rich in complete protein that acts as the building blocks to our cells.
2. Prepare your favorite plant based foods
Go out on the hunt for your favorite plant-based foods such as veggies, fruits, and nuts.
Next prepare your favorite plant based diets. Preparing plant-based meals for dinner is another great way of enjoying your meatless Mondays.
You have lots of options to choose from when it comes to plant based foods. Plus they cost you a lot less than processed meat products. So you will be saving while enjoying your favorite plant-based meals on Mondays.
Try some colorful combinations when it comes to plant based diets. You can find thousands of plant-based recipes online. Give a few of those recipes that appeal to you a try.
Cooking new dishes and trying out new recipes is always fun and will help you set the mood. So when you sit down at your dining table to eat, you’ll fall in love with your own creation.
3. Make way for fruits and nuts
Adding fruits and nuts to your meal as a side dish or eating fresh fruits for breakfast will surely help. You might as well go ahead and prepare some vegetable smoothies or fruit juice if you do not prefer eating raw.
Another way of making use of berries, fruits, and nuts can be to turn them into delicious desserts. You can always enjoy them after your plant-based meals.
You might as well step up in your game and learn some baking. This way you could make better use of fruits and nuts by baking some of your favorite fruit cakes and pies.
Take pictures of the foods that you prepare and cakes and pies that you’ve baked. Share them with your friends across different social media platforms.
Add hashtag #MeatlessMonday while sharing your posts across different social media platforms. So that people would know what you’ve been doing and more would get motivated to join the campaign.
The Meatless Monday Guidelines
Follow the dietary benchmarks set by the USDA when you join the Meatless Monday campaign.
All you have to do is look for protein alternatives by eating more eggs, legumes, seeds, and nuts instead of meat.
- Focus on eating a wide variety of foods such as beans, legumes, seeds, green vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
- Try maintaining the ideal body weight.
- Eat less of foods rich in saturated fat such as meat.
- Eat foods rich in starch and fiber such as potato, whole grain, brown rice, whole wheat, etc.
- Avoid too many sugary foods and drinks.
- Avoid too much sodium in food.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Meatless Monday for a Change
People often need reasons to do things even when they know it is right. They lack the courage or motivation to push forward.
It is one reason why campaigns such as Meatless Monday are being organized all over the world.
Joining the Meatless Monday campaign can provide you with much-needed resolve. In order to switch to a better lifestyle when it comes to food choices.
The meatless Monday campaign is a hope for a better and brighter future. The one where we live in harmony with nature.
It is thus everyone’s responsibility to take part in it and turn it into successful a global campaign.
Meatless Monday FAQ’s
Who invented meatless Monday?
Marketing professional Sid Lerner first started the Meatless Monday campaign in 2003.
The campaign follows the nutrition guidelines developed by the USDA.
It is part of the Healthy Monday initiative which encourages Americans to make healthier decisions at the start of every week.
Some other Healthy Monday campaigns include:
- Monday 2000,
- The Kids Cook Monday,
- Move it Monday,
- Quit and Stay Quit Monday,
- The Monday Mile, etc.
What can you eat on a Meatless Monday?
Meatless Monday is a campaign to help reduce the consumption of meat. Simply put, the only goal here is to not eat meat on Mondays.
But if you have concerns regarding your alternative protein sources here’s a list of plant-based proteins that you can include in your diet.
- Green Peas
- Skim or low-fat milk
- Low-fat cheese.
Adding plant-based protein sources to your meatless Monday’s will prove helpful. In fulfilling your daily protein requirements.
Can I eat eggs on Meatless Monday?
The answer to this question might vary depending upon your preferences and choice of food.
If you enjoy eating eggs on a daily basis then you might as well continue eating them on meatless Monday as well.
Since it is not a compulsion to skip eggs on meatless Monday.
Also, do not get confused by what other has to say or what you read on the internet.
Can I eat fish on Meatless Monday?
Much like eggs, fish too is an option when it comes to meatless Monday.
What’s more, is that eating fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids is seen as a welcoming sign.
Since eating fish rich in fatty acids is good for your heart and brain.
So, it is always a great idea to include fish in your meatless Monday diet.