According to USDA projections, Americans will eat 12 percent less meat and poultry in 2012 than they consumed five years ago. This could be due to recent efforts, such as the Meatless Monday campaign, to shift Americans toward a diet with more meatless dishes.
The Meatless Monday campaign began in 2003, urging Americans to start their workweeks off vegetarian style. It has been recognized by people such as James Cameron, Oprah Winfrey, Jessica Capshaw and others.
The reason for this movement?
Well. there are many. One driving force behind the cause is the health of the American population. On average, Americans eat 1/2 pound of meat a day. If you do the math, that’s 180 pounds of meat a year, which is twice the amount of meat Americans ate in 1960. Studies have shown that eating that much meat can be detrimental to your health. Diets high in red meat put individuals at an increased risk for cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.
Campaigns like Meatless Monday encourage people to reduce the amount of
meat they consume to help benefit themselves and the planet.
Photo by freefotouk/Courtesy Flickr
The campaign claims that we’re not just harming ourselves; we’re also hurting the planet. Twenty percent of manmade greenhouse gas emissions is attributed to the meat industry. These emissions contribute to global warming and climate change.
Now, it’s no secret that Americans like eating meat, and the campaign isn’t asking we give up meat altogether. Instead, it’s asking we give it up one day out of the week: Monday.
Why Monday, you ask? Mondays mark the start of the week for many Americans. It’s the day we look ahead to the upcoming workweek, make plans and evaluate our progress. Studies suggest we have a better chance of maintaining behaviors that we start on Mondays. So, it’s the perfect day to try something new that could benefit our health and the health of our planet.
If you’re not sure where to start, the Meatless Monday website offers hundreds of meatless, yet still delicious and filling, recipes, such as whole wheat blueberry pancakes, black bean burgers and quick quesadillas.
To learn more about the Meatless Monday campaign, simply click here.