In moderation, meat is a great source of protein and nutrients. However, the downside is that most of us are eating much too much meat and dairy. This takes a nasty toll on our digestive and cardiovascular health, as well as our land, oceans and climate.
Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit campaign which aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of eating meat and to encourage people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one meat-free day each week.
Going meat-free for just one day a week is an easy way to make a sizeable reduction in your annual meat consumption. Need a little push? Here are three key reasons why you should pledge to go meat-free on Mondays:
- For the environment
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: meat production is a leading cause of climate change, water depletion, soil erosion and most other environmental problems. By choosing to eat our vegetables and grains directly, instead of using them to feed the animals we eat, uses far less land and water. This is one of the main reasons that the UN has said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from the worst effects of climate change.
- For more nutrients
On the one day you don’t eat meat, you’ll most likely be including higher amounts of other foods into your diet, like vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. This means you’ll be giving your body a once-per-week boost of a wide range of nutrients, minerals and fibres you might not be getting otherwise.
- For your heart health
We’ve long been told that diets high in red meat are linked to cardiovascular health. Now, new research is uncovering even more ways that red meat can increase our risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke — and it’s not just about fats and cholesterol. The Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute has established that bacteria in the gut is also a key player in red meat’s effect on heart disease risk. So, do your heart a favour and reduce your red meat consumption today.
The best news is that eating clean and green has never been easier or more delicious! Here are just a few of our favourite meat-free meals: