We all want to change the world, but when we start to think about all the worldly problems out there, we become overwhelmed, and a starting point can be hard to find.
Perhaps one of the easiest and most attainable ways to make an impact is by slightly altering what we consume.
What is one thing we all consume every day? Food! And it’s our food choices that have the biggest impact on the world around us. Food justice is now prominently in the public’s eye both locally and globally. As an interconnected world, we realize that we have to take action because our current food system is not kind or sustainable. We have to do something. The time is now!
But we have lives!
We live in a busy and fast-paced culture. We have jobs to work, bills to pay, families to love, pets to pet, Facebooks to update, houses to clean, and if there’s time, hopefully social lives to live.
Where are we going to get the time to change the current food system?!
Lucky for us, one of the fastest growing food justice trends, takes practically no time or effort.
In fact, it’s only done one day a week. Plus, it may help boost energy, decrease body fat and save money. No wonder everybody is doing it!
The “it” is Meatless Mondays. It’s a simple idea with huge benefits. Cutting meat out of our day just once a week may seem like small potatoes, but it really can be powerful. Going meatless on Mondays can be good for our well-being and our family’s health.
Expert medical gurus Joel Furhman and the famous Dr. Oz, have said that reducing meat consumption can greatly help reduce our risk for disease.
In our country alone heart disease is running rampant and obesity rates are at their highest. Around 25 million Americans have diabetes and we are seeing an increase in childhood diseases and illnesses as well. These scary realities are clearly linked to what we are consuming.
Going meatless on Mondays is also good for the planet. The energy and resources that go into raising animals for food are extremely wasteful.
Raising animals for food wastes so many of our natural resources, that the United Nations recently released a report concluding that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.
According to PETA’s website, “It takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie from animal protein as it does to make one calorie from plant protein”. Over 250 million acres of rainforest have been cleared in order to grow grain to feed animals that are raised for food.
The land, the oceans, and the air are all affected negatively by raising animals on factory farms. As long as the demand for animal products is high, we will see factory farming and its damaging force.
Another reason to go meatless once a week is to reduce suffering. Undercover investigations of factory farms are continually exposing unnatural and violent animal living conditions. Behind the closed doors of giant windowless sheds is abuse and neglect. Animals on factory farms undergo body mutilations such as face branding, tail docking, debeaking and removal of testicles, all done without pain killers. Mothers are separated from their babies and the animals are crammed together so tightly that they can barely move.
Most will never go outside except for their trip to the slaughter house. The less we support this industry, the fewer animals will suffer.
By participating in Meatless Monday, you can help reduce your health risks, have a greener carbon footprint and reduce animal cruelty. This movement is taking off all over the country and the world.
Meatless Monday is currently active in 29 countries and The Norwegian Army just announced that their troops are going vegetarian, once a week, to combat global warming.
Meatless Mondays is championed by countless celebrities such as Oprah, Al Gore, Emily Deschanel and Bob Harper, to name a few. City councils across the country are passing resolutions encouraging their citizens to try Meatless Mondays.
National animal advocacy organizations such as The Humane League and The Humane Society of The United States work with schools, corporations and government bodies, to ditch meat every week. Eating less meat is a great way to help solve a huge problem.
Get empowered and get healthy! Go meatless on Mondays! And if you’re feeling frisky (which you probably will with all of that new energy) try meatless meals a few more times a week!
For more info, recipes and how to become a Meatless Monday activist check out the official website.
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Assistant Editor: Zenna James/ Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo Credit: Elephant Library