Meatless Mondays

Anastasia Atkins

spring vegetables sc by Muffet.

This past May the Pub Sports Grill announced it was hosting Meatless Monday, a day designated to an entirely meatless menu.  I passed by, saw the signs, and being the carnivore that I am, thought — Hmmm, interesting.

Turns out this Meatless Monday thing is part of a bigger trend, not about vegetarianism per say, but about helping our environment, something (hopefully) we can all get on board with. There’s actually an entire non-profit organization devoted to the cause. By encouraging people to stop eating meat one day a week, they hope to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent.

So why should someone like me, who would rather chomp a burger than a carrot be concerned?

Here’s some pretty startling statistics:

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, a number that is growing.

The water needed to raise livestock is way more than what is needed to grow vegetables.  It is estimated that 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef, while soy production in California requires only 220 gallons per pound.

In addition, about 20 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. but only 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy are needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein.

So by reducing the amount of meat we consume even a little, it seems we can really help our planet.

And a lot of people are getting on board, including some major organizations like the Hard Rock Café London, and The Biggest Loser Resort. That said, it seems kind of cool that CSUN is on the forefront of such a trend.

Maybe I can give up meat too — sometimes.

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