Let’s take a deeper look at our favorite excuse to share delicious vegan recipes on Mondays: Meatless Mondays!
The Meatless Monday campaign is a global initiative encouraging people to skip meat on Mondays in favor of healthier, more sustainable, and more compassionate plant-based foods. While relatively few people are ready to completely overhaul their diet overnight, most people would be willing to make better choices just one day a week. It’s manageable. People can wrap their brains around it. And when you tally the numbers, it’s clear that the collective participation of many in Meatless Mondays makes a huge impact.
For example, as Paul Shapiro shares in this video, the Los Angeles school district has been doing Meatless Mondays in grades K-12 for the past several years. That means 700,000 meals that are entirely vegetarian every single Monday throughout the school year. That’s 700,000 fewer meat-based meals per week.
That means far fewer animals are being slaughtered, it means better school nutrition, it means better sustainability outcomes, and it means better public health.
Meatless Monday is a great way for school districts, hospital chains, corporate cafeterias and even prisons to lower food costs and improve their sustainability outcomes.
So…how did this all begin? You might be surprised to learn that the Meatless Monday campaign dates all the way back to World War I, when food was scarce the government promoted meat-free days in an effort to save resources. It makes sense, as meat requires far more energy per calorie than almost any plant-based food. The government pushed it on the people, even publishing vegetarian recipes and menus in magazines and newspapers! Pretty cool, right?
In more recent decades, others have hopped on board, including the Center for a Livable Future of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, The Humane Society of the United States, and even Sir Paul McCartney! In 2011 Oprah Winfrey implemented Meatless Monday options at the Harper Studios dining halls, and urged her fans to take part. And in 2012 the city of Los Angeles officially declared every Monday “Meatless Monday.”
The Meatless Monday movement is a powerful one giving people around the world an easy opportunity to get a taste of vegetarian living. Let’s keep it growing!
Looking for Meatless Monday recipes? Find a delicious array of plant-powered recipes here. You can also pick up a copy of our vegan recipe e-book: The Friendly Vegan Cookbook.