Meatless Mondays, part 2

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Meatless Mondays, part 2

This is part two of a post about the history of Meatless Mondays.  Part one is here.)

The modern reincarnation of Meatless Mondays is doing well too, and with a more-long term goal in mind–improved health, a cleaner environment, and of course, reducing animal cruelty.  Though based in the U.S., it’s spreading around the world.  Meatless Mondays have been launched in the U.K., where it exists as an environmental campaign and as a promotion for Goodlife Vegetarian Foods.  Australia launched Meatless Mondays in 2009.  That same year in Israel, magazine Al Hashulchan began Sheni Tzimchoni (Vegetarian Mondays), and dozens of top restaurants around the country created new vegetarian meals that summer.  Ghent, Belgium became the first city in the world with an official meatless day–Donderdag Veggiedag, or Vegetarian Thursdays.  Last April, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to do the same.

So you’re probably wondering (as I did) what’s happening in Canada!  Well, we haven’t got an official meatless day yet, but it appears that things may be moving in the right direction:

  • Here in Vancouver, “encourage vegan options for all” was voted the number one way to make our city the greenest by 2020.   The Greenest City Planning Team has declared it “under review”.  Let’s hope that they make a truly environmental choice.  (link)
  • In 2010, Whitehorse ALMOST became the first Canadian city with an official Meatless Monday, which would have “encouraged restaurants, grocery stores and schools to offer more veggie-based options on Mondays” . (link)
  • In a recent issue of their Inspired Magazine, grocery store Sobey’s suggested one meatless day a week as a way to be green while also lowering intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol.  The beef industry overreacted, as usual.  (link)
  • Miratel Solutions, a call centre firm in Toronto, joined the Meatless Mondays campaign by introducing a meat-free day in its worksite cafeteria. (link)
  • Magazine Best Health began to publish weekly Meatless Mondays recipes.  Note, however, that at least one of those recipes includes fish, who suffer just as much as land animals do.  One step at a time, I guess. (link)

Speaking of one step at a time, that’s what I like to think of when I consider Meatless Mondays.  People are so resistant to change, but Meatless Monday presents certain truths–that animal products are bad for us, for the environment, and for the animals–in a fairly non-threatening way.  (Who CAN’T go without meat for one day a week?!)  Get people to accept those facts, and suddenly, going vegan seems less extreme, less foreign, less about “purity” and more like a reasoned stand against some of the biggest issues facing our world today.

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