Meatless Mondays: The best day of the week.
More than 50 percent of Americans are familiar with Meatless Mondays, and one in five already participate. From coast to coast, Animal Outlook and our team of amazing volunteers work with city councils and other institutions to help implement this community effort to build a kinder, cleaner and healthier world.
Meatless Mondays in the Nation’s Capital
In June 2010, an Animal Outlook volunteer worked with Washington, D.C. council member Yvette Alexander to introduce the “D.C. Meat-Free Mondays” Ceremonial Resolution. The resolution promotes adding more fruits and vegetables to our diets and encourages residents to “abstain from animal products” on Mondays.
Shortly after the DC government passed the resolution, DC’s popular Bread & Brew restaurant announced its support by offering a 100 percent meat-free menu on Mondays.
Meatless Mondays in the City of Angels
In November 2012, we worked with the Los Angeles City Council to develop a Meatless Mondays resolution encouraging residents to choose meat-free foods at least once a week to help protect their health, the environment and animals. This makes Los Angeles the largest U.S. city to officially endorse Meatless Monday.
“When dealing with issues as big as global warming, or even as personal as battling diabetes or obesity, it’s easy to feel helpless, like there’s little we can do to make a difference,” said co-author and Council Member Ed P. Reyes. “But the small changes we make every day can have a tremendous impact. That’s why this Meatless Monday resolution is important. Together we can better our health, the animals and the environment, one plate at a time.”
Co-author and Council Member Jan Perry continued that “Meatless Monday is about raising awareness…a call for all of us to think about our environment, the food we eat, and how we can be a part of making ourselves healthier.”
While L.A.’s Meatless Monday resolution was making the rounds in local and national news, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest public school system, developed an implementation plan: to show its support for the city’s resolution, it launched a 100 percent Meatless Monday menu in all of its cafeterias. An estimated 650,000 meat-free meals are served to students on the first day of each week.
Check out our gallery of Angelenos enthusiastically voicing their support for Meatless Mondays.
Meatless Mondays in Montgomery County
In July 2013, the Montgomery County Council in Maryland issued a Meatless Monday proclamation officially endorsing a nationwide effort to promote kinder, climate-friendlier and healthier foods. We worked with the council on this initiative and applaud it for promoting the many benefits of choosing more plant-based foods.
Montgomery County’s endorsement of Meatless Monday aligns with its annual support for our healthy-eating initiative, VegWeek, which recently featured Montgomery County Council Member Valerie Ervin as well as County Executive Ike Leggett pledging to take our Seven-Day VegPledge from April 22 to April 28, 2013.
Meatless Mondays in the Sunshine State
In December 2013, the South Miami City Commission passed a Meatless Monday resolution “in support of comprehensive efforts to protect the environment, our health and animals and encouraging residents to participate by choosing meat-free, plant-based meals at least one day a week.”
We worked with Mayor Philip K. Stoddard on this initiative, who said, “We’d like to join with the other cities in our nation and across the world that have already urged their citizens to think about these things.”
Meatless Mondays Across the Nation — and Abroad
- Cities such as San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Oakland, CA; Cleveland, OH; Minneapolis, MN; Boone, NC; and Philadelphia, PA have also implemented Meatless Monday resolutions or proclamations. Aspen, CO businesses, nutritionists, and residents have embraced the initiative, too.
- Schools around the country are participating to curb obesity and encourage healthy eating habits. The Baltimore City Public School system was the first school district to implement Meatless Mondays in 2009, and serves all-vegetarian meals to 80,000 students every week. The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest public school system, launched a 100 percent Meatless Monday menu in all of its cafeterias in 2013, serving 650,000 meat-free meals to students each week. The San Diego Unified School District passed a vote to incorporate Meatless Mondays in kindergarten through eighth grade cafeterias. The Buffalo Public School District is also offering exclusively meat-free meals in its K-12 cafeterias every Monday. South San Francisco Unified School District, Westbrook Public Schools (CT), and Winchendon Public Schools (MA) all recently launched Meatless Monday programs. Even the Philadelphia Public Schools system is now promoting “Lean and Green” Days.
- Meatless Mondays isn’t just an American trend — this healthy-eating initiative is celebrated all over the globe. In 2009, Ghent, Belgium became the first city to adopt Veggie Day and soon after Bremen, Germany introduced a “Thursday Veggie Day” campaign. Germany’s Green Party even recently announced that it’s adding a “Veggie Day” component to its party platform. And Vancouver recently became the first Canadian city to endorse Meatless Mondays.
- Famed chef Mario Batali offers Meatless Monday recipes at all 14 of his restaurants. Other notable supporters include Sir Paul McCartney, Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, James Cameron, Russell Simmons and Simon Cowell.
A Win for Your Health, the Planet, and Animals
Simply by choosing meat-free foods just one day a week, an individual can:
- Do more for the planet than by switching to a totally local diet
- Reduce his or her carbon footprint by more than eight pounds per day, as much as not driving for two days
- Save 1/2 a gallon of gasoline per day
- Reduce his or her saturated fat intake by 15 percent (per meatless meal)
- Reduce his or her risk of breast, colon, prostate, kidney and pancreatic cancer
- Save 28 land animals and 175 aquatic animals per year
Meatless Mondays in Your City
Thankfully, anyone can participate in Meatless Mondays. Any individual can approach their local city or county council with a customized version of our draft proclamation, set up a meeting with a school’s dining services department or ask a restaurant to implement more meat-free fare in support of this community initiative. Contact us for guidance, and sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in touch.