Over the last few months I have been trying something new – Meat Free Monday.
Meat Free Monday is a campaign launched by Sir Paul McCartney and daughters Mary and Stella. The idea is to have a day each week where you do not consume meat with the primary purpose of reducing your carbon footprint. The livestock sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions whereas the production of plants and non-living food stuff results in a significantly smaller greenhouse gas emissions. As such a vegetarian diet (or even better, a vegan diet) is much better for the environment than the diet of a carnivore.
There are several other benefits of eating less meat. Many studies suggest that eating less meat is good for your health. Red meats have often been linked to ill health and recent horror stories suggest that some processed meats can cause cancer. Meat is also very expensive so eating less of it can be good on the wallet. Eating less meat can help to relieve world hunger as the production of meat is not energy efficient. The plant based foods used to feed livestock could feed the 800 million malnourished people in the world three times over. It is a good option for those that care about animal welfare but are unsure they can be vegetarian. Finally, there are numerous tasty, nutritious and filling recipes out there that even a determined carnivore would enjoy (I’ve personally become quite keen on lentils).
I am a carnivore. I enjoy eating meat and, what’s more, I believe that it is an important element of the human diet, but there are clear benefits of having a meat free day each week. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a Monday; Meat Free Monday just has a nice ring to it. It doesn’t have to be one day a week, it can be as many as you like, and it doesn’t have to be a whole day, maybe just the occasional meal. Every little helps!
I certainly intend to make Meat Free Monday a permanent fixture in my life. It is easy, tasty and so beneficial to the environment. I highly recommend giving it a go!