Introducing: Meatless Mondays
Many people in the conservation world and beyond have heard the term “Meatless Monday” by now. Between publicity events at universities involving free t-shirts and recipes to social media, Meatless Monday has always been a hot topic.
The concept is simple enough – cut out meat from your diet for one day. This isn’t some ploy by vegetarians and vegans to convert the world one reluctant omnivore at a time; it’s simply a good habit to adopt.
The human body is not adapted to consume as much meat as the average person does these days. Meatless Monday is an idea that can counteract that amount while at the same time improving health, cutting bills, and being eco-friendly.
There are many benefits to going meatless for just one day, but I will not be listing all of them here. However, I’d like to highlight a few benefits from the Meatless Monday movement’s website:
- Live Longer—Evidence suggests that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and a limited amount of red meat can increase longevity, whereas red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in deaths due to cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Cut Weekly Budget—Many people save money by adding meatless meals to their weekly menus. Meatless meals are built around vegetables, beans and grains—instead of meat, which tends to be more expensive. This is partly because producing meat requires extra expenses like feed and transportation. Though it can be challenging to serve healthy meals on a budget, going meatless once a week can help conserve money for more fruits and vegetables.
- Minimize Water Usage—The water needs of livestock are much greater than those of vegetables and grains.- Approximately 1,850 gallons of water are needed to produce a single pound of beef.
– Approximately 39 gallons of water are needed to produce a pound of vegetables.
Now, I don’t just share this information in hopes of converting people. However, seeing the facts did inspire me to attempt some changes of my own in the past year. While working in Ohio, I decided to limit my meat intake and become a “part-time vegetarian.” I was not ready to give up meat completely, but I wanted to see what limiting my meat consumption would do for my health. Working in a residential set-up where meals were provided as part of my compensation, I had gotten really bored of all the greasy meat I was provided. It was DELICIOUS, but I was ready for a change. So, I signed up for the vegetarian meals and chose to only eat meat on weekends.
I don’t have any before and after photos, however i can tell you from personal experience that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had more energy, the food was delicious, and I even lost inches around my waist. I also learned that vegetarian dishes can be incredibly tasty, and don’t have to simply be salads. I learned a lot through my partial vegetarianism, and I still attempt to limit my meat intake to this day now that I am making my own food.
In the spirit of supporting this great movement, we here at DANTAisms will be posting a meatless recipe every Monday. I challenge you to try them out! You might be surprised at how versatile vegetarian dishes can be.
Look for Ginny’s post on “Gallo Pinto” – it will follow after this post is published!
Are you a vegetarian? Why? Do you support Meatless Mondays? Or are you a strict omnivore? Join the discussion in the comments below!