We young professionals are always on the lookout for new ways to improve our health, along with the health of the world around us. So it should come as no surprise then that the Meatless Monday movement has shown up on our notable YP trend radar. Meatless Mondays may sound like a simple once-a-week-endeavour, but don’t let its ease of use fool you. Giving up meat one day a week has hugely beneficial implications for us, and for the environment. Read on for more details, as well as tips on how to prepare for your own upcoming Meatless Monday.
The obvious reasons why cutting out meat is beneficial to our health are that we are reducing our fat and cholesterol consumption, as well as increasing our fruit and vegetable intake. We are a very meat-focused people here in Canada, with animal protein being at the center of most of our traditional holiday meals, classic BBQ events, and many other family and cultural occasions. When we remove that huge staple from our plate, there is much more room left for vitamin, nutrient, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. The concept of adopting a more plant-based diet, in general, is growing in popularity each and every year, as the bodily benefits are simply endless; from decreasing our risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, to improving digestion, mood, and the look of skin and hair, to aiding in weight loss. While eating plant foods exclusively may not be everyone’s cup of tea, learning how to incorporate more of the green stuff into our lives can start with an easy, once-a-week commitment thanks to Meatless Mondays.
Did you know that it takes nearly 10 times as much water to produce a portion of red meat as it does to produce an equal portion of soy? Did you also know that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the meat industry produces almost one-fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change? By ditching commercially prepared meat just once a week, we can actively help curb these negative environmental implications and reduce our carbon footprint. We can also take some comfort in knowing that for at least one day a week we are not contributing to the demand for factory farmed animals (and all that that may mean to you).
Again, while going full vegan or vegetarian is a pretty big commitment, and one that may not be so attractive to everyone, the Meatless Monday movement offers Canadian YPs a way to partake in the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet without such obligation. Like any new venture, getting started will take planning (hence why we have published this for you pre-weekend). Google up some recipes that will get you excited for Monday. Not all veggie cuisine has to be tofu or bean-based – so get creative. If you like BBQ, Asian, Italian, Indian, whatever, there are veg-based dishes that are sure to entice. Alternatively, seek out the hottest new veggie restaurant in your city (Montreal here; Toronto here) and make a reservation for Monday. Meatless Monday need not be undertaken simply for the benefits, but also for the challenge and the fun.