• Laura Masia

Meatless Mondays

Meat is delicious. I used to absolutely love the taste, chances are I probably still do. Hardly anyone decides to go vegetarian/vegan simply because they hate the taste of meat, there are a lot of other fun reasons that drive our plant-based lifestyle.

The great thing is that more and more people are ditching meat and animal products and looking for alternatives. This means that the demand for vegan-friendly products is rising, making them tastier, cheaper and more accessible.

But hey, I get it if it’s not your thing. Meat and animal products are kind of hard to avoid, and even though there are a lot of false stereotypes surrounding plant-based diets, it isn't for everyone and that’s cool. If ya can’t go without bacon every week because it makes your tastebuds sing like Mariah, and you still really care about your beautiful planet, there are still things you can do. Such as ditching the meat on Mondays! …or any day you want really, but Meatless Mondays is alliteration and if you want this to align with Taco Tuesday, Wine Wednesday and Throwback Thursday, then this might be for you. Despite common rhetoric, every little bit counts. The Meatless Monday movement started in 2003 and is growing steadily each year. They even have their own twitter now (@MeatlessMonday), which posts recipes, tips and tricks to help you stay on track. So why should you start participating in Meatless Monday?

Mass meat production is terrible for the environment

In terms of climate change, water use, pollution, land use and ocean clarity, meat production is not a pal. Firstly, space is an issue. Not only is land required for the animals to live and graze on, but then you also need to consider the land used to grow those delicious grains them keep then fat and juicy.

Secondly, it takes a whole lot more water to make a steak than it does to grow plant based options. According to the Meatless Monday’s website, it takes 1,850 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef, while only 39 gallons to produce a pound of veggies. Thirdly, meat production impacts greenhouse gas emissions dramatically. Per kilogram, beef produces 30kg of greenhouse gas, while potatoes produce 0.42kg. That’s not even including the emissions from cow farts.

It’s not that good for your health

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but meat isn’t actually that great for you even though it has a whopping amount of protein. Meat and animal products contain a whole lotta cholesterol and saturated fats. In the last few years, the World Health Organisation declared processed meat a carcinogen that increases the risk of colon or rectum cancer by 18%. All living beings produce hormones. We even inject them with artificial hormones to enhance their growth. When animals are lead to slaughter, they naturally produce the stress hormone cortisol, which means you’re ingesting a cocktail of chemicals too. By cutting out meat one day a week, you’re helping out your health. AND FINALLY If my plant-based preaching hasn't struck a cord, then take a seat because even fucking Oprah participates in Meatless Mondays. I rest my case.

Laura is a 21-year-old Italian grandmother who likes coffee, going to bed early and snapchat filters. Follow her on Instagram @laurajmasia.

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