As Americans, meat is a regular part of our everyday diet. In fact, our country ranks among the top three in meat consumption, with about 270 pounds of meat eaten by the average person per year. As many of us know, the typical American diet isn’t doing a lot of good for our health. With obesity rates skyrocketing, and the high prevalence of heart disease, many have begun to consider ways in which an adjusted diet can combat these alarming statistics. This is where the idea of “Meatless Monday” comes into play.
Experts say that going just one day per week without eating any meat will decrease one’s risk of heart disease by 19%, according to a study done by Harvard University. Not only does Meatless Monday benefit your own body, but reducing meat consumption also reduces our carbon footprint. Not only do the cattle and sheep we eat emit methane, a greenhouse gas, but so much of the meat we eat is transported, which contributes to our fossil fuel dependency.
Not everyone is prepared to embark on a full vegetarian diet—and that’s ok. Meat contains a lot of proteins that are necessary to maintaining a healthy diet, and without the right knowledge, removing meat altogether could actually prove to be harmful to your health. Meatless Monday is a great way to start making an important change in your life.
When you do eat meat, we recommend that you purchase it from a local farmer. Not only does buying local meat allow you to have a face-to-face relationship with the person who is raising your food, but you can get a better picture of how the meat is raised and under what conditions. Local meat also drastically cuts down on the transportation costs of food that are currently consuming a large portion of our fossil fuels.
While “Meatless Monday” is a great alliteration, going meatless on any day of the week is just as beneficial. It can be difficult to change an entire routine, which is why the idea of Meatless Monday has been so successful. Your family must only go without meat once per week to make a big difference in the health and environmental benefits.
We at Southwick’s Zoo find environmental sustainability and conscious eating to be an important element of being a valuable individual to this planet. To learn more about how you can contribute to the conservation of endangered animals in our environment, please visit our website. Simply by purchasing admission tickets you will help contribute to the operation of our zoo and allow us to further these species. We are a privately-owned and run zoo, so all of our profits go back into zoo maintenance and caring for our animals.
Do you think that you will attempt to instate Meatless Monday in your home? Do you have any Meatless Monday recipes to offer our readers? Please post your answers in the comment section below.