Vegetarian Food

Image courtesy of Indi Samarajiva on Flickr.

You don’t have to be a hard-core vegetarian or animal rights activist to find meatless Monday appealing, in fact, many people are incorporating meatless Mondays into their weekly routines for an endless number of reasons such as helping the environment or as part of a new diet. Going meatless on Mondays can have great benefits for your health and for our planet. Here are 6 reasons to go meatless on Mondays:

  1. Going meatless can reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes. Meats that are red and processed have been linked to colon cancer, and it has been found that a diet high in fruits and veggies may reduce the risk of cancer. Research has found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain.
  2. Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions: Many people don’t know that nitrous oxide in 300x more powerful at trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide. 65 percent of the world’s nitrous oxide emissions are produced by the meat, egg, and dairy industries.
  3. Save space on land: Every minute, an area the size of 7 football fields is cleared to make room to raise farm animals. When you combine all the land used to raise animals for food, it is about equivalent to the size of Asia!
  4. Reduce carbon dioxide emissions: If everyone in America eliminated one serving of chicken per week from their diet, it would save the same amount of CO2 emissions as taking 500,000 cars off the roads.
  5. Save water: The production of 1 pound of meat requires 2,400 gallons of water and 16 pounds of grain. Almost half of water used in the U.S. goes toward raising animals for food.
  6. Try new foods and recipes: There is an endless list of vegetarian and vegan dishes to try. In fact, many sites promoting vegetarianism, veganism, and meatless Mondays feature a new recipe every Monday. Can’t wait any longer?, give this meatless Monday dish a try: Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Garlic Sauce.

If you are considering going meatless on Mondays, remember it is all about planning ahead. Arrange your meals for Monday ahead of time so you do not find yourself going through the McDonald’s drive through for a hamburger because your fridge in empty. The thing about calling it meatless Monday is that it is phrased in a way that sounds like a loss, but in fact, your new Monday meals can be viewed as something fun and a way to enhance your life: try new foods, try new recipes, explore the sections of the market never explored before, or win over the boy/girl of your dreams by preparing a healthy vegetarian dish for him/her (food is the way to the heart!).

And when you’ve nailed down meatless Mondays, brag about it and get friends and family to follow!