Mondays. Some people love them, some people want to skip them altogether.
Out of all the things Mondays represent, our favourite has to do with dinnertime: Meatless Mondays!
There are so many good reasons to consider incorporating Meatless Mondays into your family’s meal rotation and we’ll dive into a couple here.
THE ETHICS OF FOOD
There is no point in sugarcoating the truth: 10 billion animals are tortured and killed every year, 97% being farm animals.
In order to meet demand, some factory or large-scale farms keep animals in spaces that are way too small, don’t provide bedding, and often feed them the remains of other animals *
Larger animals=more meat=more money so they’re fed a steady supply of hormones, causing unnatural growth.
Animals that cannot sustain the stress of their living conditions get converted into feed and to combat the aggression and health issues that arise from this lifestyle, the surviving animals also get pumped full of antibiotics and other drugs, all of which are passed on to the consumer.
While there are a multitude of other serious issues with institutionalized cruelty, we’ll spare you the gory details and leave it here- reducing the amount of animal proteins consumed can hugely impact this unethical industry and reduce the amount of toxins passed on to your family; when shopping choose organic to support farms that use kinder practices to raise and slaughter their livestock.
IMPORTANT: * this doesn’t mean that all farmers are like this. The truth is, farming is one of the main reasons that humans have lasted this long. Without agriculture, where would we be? Farmers work long hours, are often underpaid, and care deeply for their animals.
Farmers (especially family-owned farms) deserve our respect. They keep our economy going, our bellies full, and our grocery stores stocked. We are a privileged society here in North America, and we often forget what it would be like without farmers.
This being said, there are, unfortunately, some farms that have horrifying histories of animal abuse and torture, like this chicken farm in Chilliwack, BC. We need to stand up for defenseless animals and condemn these sadistic farmers and workers alike.
Another huge impact to consider is environmental.
While studies have shown that most consumers assume fossil fuels are the higher contributor, agribusiness is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than cars, planes, ships, and trains combined.
Although there is much effort being put into other areas of conservation, there is a huge gap in the livestock sector.
This reluctance is due to the controversy that could arise with governments seemingly telling people how and what to eat.
Disappointingly, developed countries are the highest consumers of livestock while ranking lowest as far as awareness of its environmental impact and willingness to change.
Two 2014 peer-reviewed studies (here and here) calculated that, without severe cuts in this trend, agricultural emissions will take up the entire world’s carbon budget by 2050, with livestock a major contributor. This would mean every other sector, including energy, industry and transport, would have to be zero carbon, which is described as “impossible”.
The Chatham House report concludes: “Dietary change is essential if global warming is not to exceed 2°C.”- United Nations University
THE EXPERTS WEIGH IN
Experts have spoken up time and time again about the health benefits of reducing the consumption of animal proteins, particularly red meat.
Add to that the devastating effects the industry has on the environment and the unethical treatment of animals and you have the perfect motivation for Meatless Mondays!
Even this minor change to our purchasing and eating habits can have a large impact collectively.
SHARE YOUR IDEAS WITH US.
We’ll be following up with a piece on vegan swaps soon to give you some ideas so if you have any tried and true favourites, let us know!
Drop a comment below and we’ll pick some to feature in our upcoming article and newsletter. Also let us know if you’re doing anything to help with either of these causes, we’d love to hear how you effect change as well!
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