Meatless Mondays

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"The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces, or at least not try to defy them."

                                                   --Paul Hawken--

 

giraffe.jpg

Photo taken by me, in Disney's Animal Kingdom, April 2010

 

 I recently read a news article about a college promoting something called Meatless Mondays. Although I do not remember which college it was, the article said that it was being promoted in the student cafeteria to encourage a healthier lifestyle. The article definitely caught my eye, so I decided to do some research about it.
     I found that Meatless Mondays is not just an idea at this college that I read about, but a non-profit initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Their goal, according to their website, is to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.
     Most people probably already know that eating meat can have negative effects on personal health and many people stop eating meat for that reason. But many people probably don't realize that choosing not to eat meat is also environmentally friendly.
     For example, I have taken some classes that have talked about the increasing dangers of factory farming and its negative effects on the environment and what I learned definitely influenced my meat eating habits. Factory farming is an increasing problem in this country because of the high demand for meat. Meat producers are thinking of ways to produce more meat, faster and cheaper. Factory farming is the result and it is having a horrible impact on animals, the environment and our natural resources. I still have a lot to learn but here are some facts that are given on Meatless Mondays website, as well as from farmsanctuary.org.
 

  • The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide , far more than transportation. As annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow, reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
  • The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef.

  • The quantity of waste produced by farm animals in the United States is more than 130 times greater than that produced by humans. Agricultural runoff has killed millions of fish and is the main reason why 60 percent of America's streams are "impaired."
     Meatless Mondays is an initiative that I completely support and would love to see here. Not eating meat, even just for one day a week, has environmental benefits as well as personal health benefits. Most of the meat that we eat comes from a factory farm, and the less demand we give for meat, the faster this problem can be reversed.
     For those of you that love your meat, just try one day a week and see how delicious a meatless diet can be. There are many recipes on Meatless Monday's website. If you can't completely give meat up, try to buy it locally. Many towns and cities have local meat shops. In Indiana, try Cunningham's. Buying locally usually ensures that the meat was humanely raised and not raised in an environmentally dangerous factory farm.

For more information on Meatless Mondays
     www.meatlessmondays.com
For more information on factory farming
     www.farmsanctuary.org
     www.sustainabletable.org/issues/factoryfarming
Click here to watch a video on the environmental dangers of factory farming. 

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4 Comments

After reading this blog post, I did some research about factory farming. There are a lot of disturbing facts that really make you think about what you're eating. Combining that information with the health issues related to a diet that's concentrated around meat makes me want to make more of my meals meatless. I think my family will start to participate in Meatless Mondays. In fact, I think I'll go to the website to look at the recipes now! Good information!!

Cunningham's is delicious, and their meat is cheaper than the grocery store fyi. Nice link.

So, I know a lot of environmentally unfriendly things happen on those farms. I understand why so many people stop eating meat. My best friend happens to be one of them.
I couldn't imagine going without meat. It's just a way of life for me. But, on a healthy note, isn't meat an important part of a balanced diet? What can be substituted in it's place when meat is omitted?

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This page contains a single entry by Ms. Jessica Ann Clevenger published on October 16, 2010 10:16 PM.

Take time to enjoy the environment was the previous entry in this blog.

Mindless ways to be good to the planet is the next entry in this blog.

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