By Eloisa Artuso
If you are not a vegetarian or a vegan, have you ever thought of not having meat for only one day a week? Do you know it could make a big difference for everyone’s future?
Meat Free Mondays is a campaign launched by the famous McCartney clan: Stella, Paul and Mary–and is fully dedicated to helping people have one day a week free of eating meat, which needn’t necessarily be a Monday. In choosing to be meat free once a week, we can help diminishing impacts on the environment, and consequently improving our lives.
The movement is growing internationally and has, of course, been highly supported by many other celebrities, from chefs including Jamie Oliver, stars like Leona Lewis and Fearne Cotton, renowned artists Sam Taylor-Wood and Yoko Ono, and businesses like Feng Sushi and Virgin. In fact, Sir Richard Branson said: “I love eating meat, but I love our planet even more, so I will join this campaign and stop eating meat at least one day a week.”
The idea behind the Meat Free Mondays is that eating more vegetables is not only good for your health but also good for the planet. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the farming and slaughtering of animals rates as one of the top three causes of all the major environmental problems confronting the world, including land degradation, air pollution and water shortages. According to a FAO report in 2006, animal farming is responsible for 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the entire transport sector combined.
Climate change chairperson at IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Rajendra Pachauri, states that “people should consider eating less meat as a way of combating global warming. UN figures suggest that meat production puts more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than transport.”
With world leaders struggling to agree on significant initiatives in relation to climate change and global warming, it is now time for individuals to take personal responsibility as well, and to that end, adopting at least one meat-free day a week could help a lot.
Meat Free Mondays organisation is not just for vegetarians, it’s for people who want to experiment with flavours and vegetables and discover that they can create exciting colourful meals without always relying on meat. The website conveniently provides delicious recipes from its famous supporters–and if you want to eat like the McCartneys do, there’s even a cookbook written by Stella and her famously vegetarian dad.
Jamie Oliver says “Meat Free Monday is the most brilliant excuse to focus on the incredible variety of veggies out there – the flavours, textures and wonderful dishes you can create is beyond belief. So here’s to Meat Free Monday and frankly, meat-free Wednesdays too.”
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