Meatless Monday is a worldwide campaign or movement that is meant to encourage people to skip eating meat every Monday. This means not eating meat once a week. The idea is to help improve their health and that of the planet.
This campaign started in 2003 and it is a not-for-profit initiative by The Monday Campaigns Inc. It was founded in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for a Livable Future. You may read more about it here.
Consuming plant-based foods and less meat is believed to help in reducing incidences of chronic, yet preventable diseases. It is also meant to preserve the land as well as water resources and fight climate change.
The movement has now become a weekly practice for assiduous eaters around the world. Lots of restaurants and other food outlets now offer only vegetarian meals on this day. Different cities, schools and universities participate and bloggers even publish recipes for meatless meals.
Meatless Monday is practiced in many countries of the world and it may be called various things in these countries. It features some sort of variation of the movement in over 34 countries.
The message is simple: do not eat meat once a week. It works because it offers a cue to take an action every week. Research has shown that Monday is a day that a lot of people are usually willing to make positive changes. Beginning every week by practicing Meatless Monday will lead them to eat more fruits and vegetables for the rest of the week.
Although Friday is traditionally a no meat day for Orthodox people and Catholics, Monday is when people typically settle into weekly routines. Habits that held sway during the weekend can be neglected and replaced with others. A weekly reminder is also meant to encourage success.
Going without meat even if for a day has its advantages. Asides from the many health benefits of meatless Monday, there are also environmental gains. We discuss some of these below.
You Eat a More Nutritious Diet
Rather than just avoiding meat completely, you should substitute it with other kinds of proteins. These you can get from plant-based foods like beans, nuts and vegetables. Proteins obtained from plants are great for the body as it adds lots of nutrients to it. It also helps to reduce the number of saturated fats in the body.
It takes a lot of bodily resources to fully break down animal proteins as compared to other kinds of proteins. For people who may not find it easy to digest their food, taking a break occasionally can be beneficial. They can rather eat foods that are much easier to digest. This makes more resources available to the body that it can use to process needed proteins much later.
Reduced Risk of Diseases
Eating foods like vegetables, fruits and plant-based diets brings about a decrease in medical issues such as heart disease. This is not to say that eating meat directly leads to heart disease. However, you should eat more of what you are certain would make your health better.
You can never go wrong with fruits and vegetables but meat may increase your cholesterol level. Too much of it may lead to different health issues. Other diseases like stroke, diabetes, cancer and obesity may also be prevented.
You Save Money
Generally, meat is more expensive and meals without it are far less costly. Buying fruits and vegetables mean that you can save more. While this may not be a lot in a week, it will add up over time. In addition to this, you will save up on visits to a physician and spend less on medication.
It helps in Weight Management
Green foods are high in fiber therefore they are good for managing your weight and avoiding obesity. With them, you can keep your appetite under control. Rather than eating meat, you can eat fruits and other foods like beans, chickpeas and salads. With this, you can maintain your waistline and live healthier.
It is Good For the Environment
As humans we are responsible for the sustenance of our planet. Meatless Monday is just one way to do that. Going meatless once a week goes a long way in saving valuable earth resources. It greatly lowers the carbon footprint as greenhouse gas production is contained.
In addition, livestock production makes use of a large portion of resources such as land, water and energy. You do not have to cut out eating meat completely before you can make a difference. By avoiding it even for a single day, we can make big gains in protecting our planet.
You can read further on the benefits of going meatless here https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/meatless-meals/art-20048193.
Meatless Monday is a movement that is gaining ground globally. It is about avoiding eating meat one day a week; specifically Mondays. It comes with a host of benefits for a practitioner’s health and helping to battle climate change by reducing the carbon footprint.