Change the world with your diet — a look at Meatless Monday

The international Meatless Monday campaign has become a buzzword for foodies, restaurants and health, economic and environmental experts alike. But what does it actually mean? How can one vegetarian meal a week be so significant to all these different grouping? Actually, you’d be surprised …

A non-profit initiative, Meatless Monday has grown globally since 2003, encouraging consumers to go one day a week without meat.

Image: Meatless Monday

Interestingly, the movement originated 95 years ago in North America as a World War I aid effort, and was again revived to benefit Europe after World War II.. Cutting out one staple a week has, in fact, historically aided the economic health of countries.

Leading health organisations have been praising the concept for years. The American Heart Association believes eliminating meat once a week can prevent cardiovascular disease and keep your heart healthy. Others, such as the Spoon University food website, say reducing meat in your diet can prevent colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity and other causes of premature death.

Image: Meatless Monday

Then there’s the environmental impact. Did you know that the meat industry is responsible for almost a fifth of manmade greenhouse-gas emissions? It is also estimated that between 500 litres and 4 000 litres of water go into producing 1kg of beef.

Need more reasons to join the movement? How about considering your wallet? A study by the University of Oxford predicted that if we started reducing meat consumption today, we can save the global economy up to $1.6 trillion by 2050.

Image: Meatless Monday

By swapping your steak for a salad or other delicious vegetarian dishes only once a week, you could save your health, the environment and your budget in one fell swoop.

Who said changing the world was difficult?

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