52 times a year, or every Monday, people worldwide abstain from eating meat. That’s 14% of days in a year. The idea of Meatless Monday goes all the way back to WWI, but today it’s taken on a deeper meaning that is causing all kinds of people to become activists helping the planet and our health. Read on to learn why Meatless Mondays grew in popularity in recent years and why it’s an easy switch!
The History of Meatless Monday
The first time a meatless day of the week was introduced was during WWI and then again during WWII as a response to food scarcity. Then, in 2003 it was re-introduced by Sid Lerner, working with the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and using his background in advertising as a response to the overconsumption of meat by Americans.
By 2003, the average person in the US was consuming 15% more meat than recommended. Staying away from meat for one day made up for that 15%.
Today, Meatless Monday has become a global movement, and its purpose has expanded to include overall health for humans and the planet, including climate change and animal cruelty. With more alternative choices available to replace meat and dairy than ever before, the movement is even more accessible.
Activism and Societal Change
Celebrities, politicians, and everyday people have been part of the growth of Meatless Mondays through activism, leading to more awareness throughout the US and the world. Grammy-winning singer Billie Eilish recently took to Capitol Hill to promote more plant-based meals in schools. The NY Public School System now has vegan Fridays thanks to New York City’s mayor and the success of Meatless Mondays.
Much of the activism for kids in schools comes from the desire to promote changes in a system that has promoted things like chronic illness and obesity because of a lack of healthy food options, plus it helps the environment.
In Columbia, South Carolina, the whole city adopted Meatless Monday to increase sustainability and health goals. The movement was fueled by an organization called “Let’s Meat Less,” led by registered dietician Sue Doran. She takes action by helping restaurants and local businesses with professional food photography and more. The city made a proclamation, and local colleges and schools are getting involved.
Why Meatless Mondays Work
Monday is the first day of the week, when most people are willing to make a positive change. Research shows this is true. Plus, when people start the week with a positive habit, they’re more likely to stick with it throughout the week, like eating more vegetables.
Organization and Resources
Meatless Monday goes beyond psychology to actually help people make a plan and take action. The organization behind the movement provides resources and support for anyone wanting to make the change for themselves and their communities or organizations.
Resources the organization offers include communications templates, recipes, guides, a 12-week challenge, graphics, and more. They also include resources specific to schools and hospitals to help implement changes. All of this helps Meatless Mondays work because people aren’t alone in implementation – they have support and resources to guide them and make the task easy.
It’s Worth Implementing, And Here’s Why
- It helps your health. A healthy plant-based diet full of plant proteins, veggies, and fruits is proven to help in reducing the risk for many diseases and health issues, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Processed meats are the main culprit for many of these health concerns, so Meatless Mondays are a great way to easily cut out on extra consumption.
- It’s cost-effective. Substituting plant-based protein for meat, especially things like beans and legumes, actually saves money rather than costing more. Doing this one day a week is an easy way to save money throughout the year.
- It helps the planet. Reducing meat intake cuts back on greenhouse gas emissions, plus agricultural land use is a major issue with livestock raising that is making it unsustainable.
A Growing Movement
Want to start participating in Meatless Monday for your health, your family’s health and the environment? NoBull Burger is a 100% plant-based burger – no fake ingredients, GMOs, or gluten here – that is an easy way to start replacing meat with an excellent-tasting protein. We also have plant-based recipes to give you the inspiration to get started on your Meatless Monday journey. So go ahead, see what a difference one day a week can make!