The most important thing you can do for your health, the environment, and the innocent animals is to go veggie.
This Monday, April 26, 2010 Down to Earth launches its first Meatless Monday (MM), joining an international phenomenon that advocates forgoing meat for one day a week, primarily as a way to reduce global warming. Down to Earth is offering up to 40% off selected ALL VEGETARIAN Preferred Brand items every Monday from now on to help you go meatless.
As you by know probably already know, The United Nations said in its 2006 report that livestock generate more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. Therefore, the single most important step an individual can take to reduce global warming is to adopt a vegetarian diet.
There are also many other important reasons to go meatless, even one day a week.
This movement has historical roots in World War I, when the U.S. Food Administration urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to aid the war effort. “Food Will Win the War,” the government proclaimed, and “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” were introduced to encourage Americans to do their part. Herbert Hoover, then head of the Food Administration, spearheaded implementation of the campaign. In addition to advertising, his office created and distributed recipe booklets and menus in newspapers, magazines and pamphlets.
The effect was overwhelming. Some 10 million families, 7,000 hotels and nearly 425,000 food dealers pledged to observe national meatless days. In November 1917, New York City hotels saved some 116 tons of meat over the course of just one week. According to a 1929 Saturday Evening Post article, “Americans began to look seriously into the question of what and how much they were eating. Lots of people discovered for the first time that they could eat less and feel no worse – frequently for the better”. The campaign returned during World War II and beyond, when Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman used rationing to help feed war-ravaged Europe.
In 2003 Meatless Monday was recreated as public health awareness program in association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future. The campaign was endorsed by over 20 schools of public health. Its goal originally was to help Americans reduce their risk of preventable disease by cutting back on saturated fat.
This has now expanded to include other health and environmental benefits of moderating meat consumption. A resolution favoring Meatless Mondays was recently unanimously adopted by the San Francisco City Supervisors. Schools and universities are voting to adopt Meatless Mondays through the food offered at the cafeterias.
This movement is exciting and is quickly spreading around the globe. Sir Paul McCartney brought “Meat Free Monday” to Britain along with a song challenge to improve on his ditty of the same name. Check out his “Meat Free Monday” song. (Just scroll 3 pictures to the left.) Countries, hospitals, universities, school districts, famous personalities and others are seeing the wisdom of environmental care and personal health by going meat-free for at least one day a week.
For those who feel a leap to a vegetarian diet is too challenging all at once, this campaign provides a good starting point for making the transition.
Some prominent Meatless Monday moments include popular author and food activist Michael Pollen promoting MM on Oprah in April 2009; the people of Food, Inc. calling participating in MM one of the top 10 things you can do to change our food system; "The Edgy Veggie" Ellen Kanner, Huffington Post columnist, began writing weekly Meatless Monday columns in July 2009; in September 2009, Baltimore City Public Schools became the first school district in the country to go Meatless on Mondays; Al Gore's Novermber 2009 list of 12 actions you can take to prevent climate change features Meatless Monday, since one individual's meatless day a week can save 35,000 gallons of water and over 700 lbs. of carbon emissions each year.
Down to Earth supports this movement. If you're a flexitarian, or not completely vegetarian, how about giving Meatless Monday a start? And spread the message! Meatless Monday, that's my fun day....