Hello again guys and dolls!
If you haven’t read a post on this blog before the idea is that it follows the tiny changes I am making in my life that will have a big impact on the environment and reducing my carbon footprint.
The changes will, in theory, be relatively easy to carry out yourselves as I am very aware of how busy everyone is nowadays.
Much as the title of this post suggests I am planning on going meat free every Monday.
“But why?” I hear you ask.
Firstly, I must express that I cannot take credit for this idea. Paul McCartney has been vegetarian since 1975 so says Wikipedia and his first wife Linda McCartney set up her own vegetarian and vegan food company in the 90s.
Since then Paul and his fam have campaigned for vegetarianism for many years and set up the Meat Free Monday website back in ‘09.
They did the research and I am essentially writing it in a different and, in all likelihood, less concise way. But here goes…
Paul & the gang are all for going meat free for many different reasons:
IT HELPS SAVE THE PLANET
– Raising beef cattle requires 160 times more land and causes 11 times more greenhouse gas emissions when compared to crops like wheat, rice or potatoes.
– If you stopped eating meat for one day a week it would be the equivalent of not driving your car for a month.
– It is estimated that livestock production is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions and is one of the top 3 most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems.
IT SAVES ANIMAL LIVES
An obvious one but it’s worth mentioning. Not all those animals slaughtered are consumed. We produce an awful lot of waste by being picky about the cuts of meat we will and won’t eat.
YOU CAN SAVE MONEY BY GOING MEAT FREE
This one’s for the students amongst you. Meat can be very expensive. I pretty much was a vegetarian at university for this very reason. I wanted to spend my money on more exciting items such as chocolate and cinema tickets. #priorities
IT ALLEVIATES WORLD HUNGER
This is straight from the Meat Free Monday site itself.
“Animals convert plant protein and energy into meat protein and energy inefficiently; in fact it can take up to 12 kg of grain to produce 1 kg of beef. This means that anyone who consumes large amounts of meat may be consuming a disproportionate amount of the world’s available nutrients.
Currently some 800 million people on the planet now suffer from hunger or malnutrition, yet an amount of cereal which could feed three times this number of people is fed to cattle, pigs and chickens.”
IT STOPS THE EXTINCTION OF SPECIES
We like to eat certain breeds of animals. So farmers produce these breeds in their millions in order to stand a chance at gaining a profit. This intensive farming leads to a loss of species and biodiversity.
Without being too morbid, reducing your meat intake has been said to lower your risk of cancer and heart problems.
I am not by any means trying to do livestock farmers out of a job. Their lives are challenging enough. Nor am I insisting that everyone must go vegetarian as, ultimately, I am a realist. I appreciate that few people, vegetarians included, can resist the smell of bacon.
Still not convinced?
If you are the shallow type (like me) you may be interested to know of a few people currently riding the Meat Free Monday wagon onto which you may want to clamber aboard…
Photos: meatfreemonday.com and theapricity.com and Christian Shambenait
Other Meat Free Monday campaigners include:
Leona Lewis, Fearne Cotton, Sharleen Spiteri, Pizza Express and more.
Taking the Meat Free Monday pledge requires just one day of your week.
It doesn’t even have to be a Monday.
The fam and I are already discussing that a Tuesday might actually be more convenient for us.
The impact this tiny action can have on reducing your carbon footprint, not to mention all the other wonderful advantages mentioned above, is incred!
There are shed loads of recipes on the Meat Free Monday website and you can conveniently search in categories such as meal type or occasion or even by ingredient. So maybe you’ll use up that old cabbage in a very exciting meat free dish!
The obligatory selfies with my Meat Free Monday dishes will be making an appearance on here and on various social media platforms later this evening and every Monday thereafter.
Don’t say I don’t treat you.
UPDATE: Pictures of my first Meat Free Monday here. Forgot the selfie, my bad.