Green Tips: A Guide to Meatless Mondays
Green Tips | June 18, 2018
Reducing meat consumption has countless health, environmental, and economic benefits. While the thought of going completely vegetarian or vegan can be daunting to some people, eating meat-free one day a week is an easy alternative that can keep your body–and the planet–healthy. Check out our Guide to Meatless Mondays:
- Meatless Mondays can help lower your risk of illness. Studies show that reduced meat intake and higher vegetable consumption is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and death by cardiac events. In fact, non-meat eaters are 25% less likely to die of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. Restricting the amount of meat in your diet can also lower your risk of various cancers, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and food-borne diseases.
- High meat consumption is harmful to the environment. The meat and agriculture industries produce environmental contamination, are responsible for habitat destruction, and lead to greenhouse gas emissions that help cause climate change. Scientists estimate that 70% of Central and South America’s forests have been cut down to permit livestock grazing. Moreover, pesticides and animal waste produced by agriculture contaminate almost 200,000 miles of freshwater in the U.S., and livestock farming is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases. These factors may lead to warming of the planet and extensive species extinctions, among countless other detriments to the environment.
- Limiting your meat intake will help reduce famine and benefit the economy. Rather than spending billions on food for cattle, why not invest in food given directly to people in need? Seventy percent of all grains grown in the U.S. is fed to livestock rather than people suffering from hunger, and cattle require exponentially more water than humans do. By eating less meat, you can do your part to fight famine and drought, and help the U.S. economy by avoiding money lost to the meat industry.
- There are plenty of alternatives to meat. Meat substitutes are tasty, healthy, environmentally friendly, and easy to find and prepare. Check out a list of common meat alternatives here.
- Meat-free recipes and restaurants are everywhere! Whether you prefer dining at home or eating out, meat-free meals are almost always an option. Here you can find hundreds of easy, appetizing vegetarian recipes. If you feel like going out to eat, use this website to find meatless options near you.
- You can further your impact by trying vegan Meatless Mondays. A vegan diet avoids all animal products including dairy and eggs. Going vegan for one day a week (or even one meal a day!) can be fun and simple. It will also improve your health and the environment. Why not? Give it a try!
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