I’m a Carnivore. I am. The six months I spent as a pescatarian taught me that a pink slice of perfectly grilled beef is one of those great big pleasures in life that I’m not willing to give up on entirely until it is 100% inescapable and maybe even life-threatening.
However, I have (more or less accidentally) learned to embrace a slightly more meatless diet on my day-to-day. Not just because purchasing good quality meat every day would completely wreck me physically and economically, but because I’m actually pretty fond of inventively delicious vegan and vegetarian options.
I love food. A handful of non-negotiables aside (I’ll never get tofu, I’m sorry), I am completely open to experimentation. I don’t see myself making the switch to a full-time meatless diet, but doing it just one day a week? It really isn’t so bad. It sometimes even inspires me to do it more often. (And I hear it’s really good for you, too.)
So, Why Go Meatless?
As I said before, there was a decisive economic factor that made me far more open to the idea that I didn’t need to have meat with every meal. But there’s more to it. First of all, I like to cook. I’ve found that hunting for recipes online makes me actually crave whatever I’m planning for these meatless meals. I enjoy the whole process.
— Meatless Monday (@MeatlessMonday) July 2, 2019
It’s also, apparently, good for the planet. Studies affirm that if everyone decided to give meat up for just one day in the United States, the country would save 100 billion gallons of water, 1.5 billion pounds of crops and 70 million gallons of gas. It would also prevent Greenhouse gas emissions, ammonia emissions and soil erosion.
Then, of course, there’s the health element. Too much red meat increases the risk of having heart disease, diabetes and strokes. All of which these are reduced by adding more nuts, seeds, seafood, fruits and vegetables to our diets. In reality, it’s not just about what we should be giving up, but also about the stuff we should be including in our diets regardless.
— NKF – KS, MO & OK (@NKF_KSMO) July 1, 2019
Meatless Monday Global
Meat Free Mondays have become a worldwide trend. The campaign seeks to encourage people to give meat up one day a week, reducing the consequences its global production has on climate, environment and our health. Meatless Monday began in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and has been growing ever since – with none other than Paul McCartney introducing the initiative to the UK about ten years ago.
Now, you can find Meatless Monday Global Connects all over the world. It doesn’t even need to be a Monday. Belgium and Germany, for example, decided the start of the week was complicated enough and instead designated a Veggie Thursday.
Mexico, Bolivia, Singapore, Brazil, France, Denmark, Slovakia, Canada, the UK, Honduras, China, Hungary, India, Korea, Italy, Portugal, Australia, Turkey, Malaysia, Chile and Peru are among the countries that have joined this worldwide campaign. You can find more info here.
Meatless Options to Get You Started
Don’t know where to start? Worry not! We’ve assembled a small collection of easy options for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner to get you started. It’s a trendy life choice so not only does it come with a nice alliterative hashtag to share your success as you please, you’ll also be able to find countless recipes that make “meatless” sound a lot less hopeless.
Mina Rome on YouTube gives you three ten-minute breakfasts with varying levels of difficulty, including a falafel wrap, chocolate couscous porridge and an almond, coconut and date spread.
This Tasty video will give you a few ideas on lunches you can prep and take with you wherever you go. All not just meatless, but vegan! Try a pasta salad, roasted cauliflower or a spicy chickpea bowl.
Alyssa from Simply Quinoa shares two creamy vegan pasta recipes for dinner. Give this vegan mushroom stroganoff and her version of vegan cacio e pepe a try during your next meatless dinner.
Liv B has a bunch of easy vegan snacks, including a mug apple crisp, a veggie quesadilla and chocolate fruity toast.
And just to reward yourself for being nice on yourself and the planet, here’s a recipe for vegan brownies by Tasty.