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Conscious Collegiette: Meatless Mondays

Throughout history, meat has been a large part of the human diet. From pre-historic times to the colonial era to the present day, there have always been ‘hunters’ to feed families and communities. But since the industrial revolution, when farming and raising livestock became more efficient and cheaper, we began to eat more and more meat. While some dieticians and doctors have claimed that eating meat is beneficial for your health, recent studies show that excess meat can lead to heart disease, cancer, and stroke, in addition to higher body weights, obesity, and diabetes. Instead, by eating a majority of plant-based foods, we can be healthier, lower our blood pressure and cholesterol, and lessen individual and collective carbon footprints. Today, it’s pretty easy and convenient to get a chicken or turkey sandwich somewhere but it’s becoming even easier to get them without the meat.

Meatless Mondays aim to encourage people around the world to try replacing whatever meat you’d put on your plate with veggies every Monday! If every American replaced chicken with one or more veggies, one meal, once a week, it would be like taking a half a million cars off the road! Here’s another statistic: if all Americans participated in Meatless Mondays, it would prevent 1.4 BILLION (with a B, not an M) animals from being factory farmed. Meatless Mondays are a step in the right direction.

So what are your options?

Vegan! – A vegan lifestyle means that they don’t eat, buy, or wear, any products that contain animal by-products or hurt animals. This can range from food like eggs, cheese, honey, milk to clothing like leather and make-up that does animal testing.

Vegetarian! – Being a vegetarian can mean a broad range of things. Mainly, they don’t eat meat. There are pescatarians that don’t eat meat but eat fish or ovo-lacto vegetarians who do not consume meat, poultry, fish, and seafood but do eat eggs and milk. But most just call themselves vegetarians and call it a day!

Meatless Mondays! – Don’t want to commit to giving up meat for an extended period of time? Then just try going one day a week without any meat. Meatless Mondays are great way to limit your meat consumption and try out fun new recipes with veggies, grains, and fruits!

Meatless FAQ:

Where will I get my protein?

1 cup of tempeh = 30g, 3 oz of almonds = 18g 1 cup of chickpeas = 15g, 1 cup cooked spinach = 5g…

Studies have shown that American diets are too high with protein and can have some overwhelming health impacts. Protein deficiency is very rare in vegetarians especially if you eat enough colors in your diet.

What about iron & B12 vitamins?

Iron is present in many vegetables especially kale, spinach, and beans. If you participate in Meatless Mondays, it’s very unlikely for you to have a deficiency within a day.

Going meatless is easy! I’ve been a vegetarian for a year or so now and I’m trying out veganism. After watching countless movies like Vegucated and Food Inc. (both on Netflix!), it’s hard for me to eat meat and dairy products because of sustainability issues and the health problems they cause. I highly recommend watching one or more of these movies if you want to learn more. Also, don’t forget that “the truth will set you free but first it will piss you off” – Gloria Steinem

Business Administration student at Drexel University minoring in sustainable built environments. President of the Drexel Sierra Club, VP of Academic Affairs of the Drexel Smart House, and council member of the Drexel Green Sustainability Council.
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