Currently, more than 7 million people in the U.S. consider themselves vegetarian, and 23 million others are “vegetarian-inclined”. Unlike meats, which contain high levels of fats and no fiber, vegetables and protein alternatives are bursting with fiber and healthy fats. Eating less meat has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, healthier weight, and better overall quality of health. Eating less meat can also reduce your carbon footprint and minimize your water usage by reducing the amount of fossil fuels and water consumed during production.
Even if you don’t want to go completely vegetarian, cutting meat from your diet once a week can make a big impact. The Meatless Monday campaign, in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future, urges meat-eaters to go without meat on the first day of each week by replacing beef, pork, and poultry with beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The campaign has really taken off, and recently San Francisco became the first city to go meatless on Mondays. The city’s Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution urging all eateries and schools to provide plant-based alternatives at the start of the week. This is a sign of the success of the meatless Monday, and soon other cities may follow suit. So if you’re ever in the City by the Bay on a Monday, try a tofu burger or eggplant parmesan instead of the usual meat choice. One small step can make a big difference.
Submitted by Amanda Mason, PEEPs Member