Meatless Monday Motivation

Sophia Sun, Staff Reporter

Want to save the planet? You should try going meatless on Mondays.

Rising carbon emissions and global warming are pressing issues on our generation, and many teens are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Participating in Meatless Monday reduces your footprint a lot, as production of animal food products releases almost a quarter of all carbon emissions.

Producing a single kilogram of meat emits 60 kilograms of CO2, while producing a kilogram of peas emits just one kilogram. When looking at just diet, meat lovers have the largest carbon footprint, while vegans and vegetarians have the smallest. This isn’t to say that you have to go fully vegetarian or vegan; doing so once a week is still valuable to the worldwide effort to reduce carbon emissions.

Additionally, Meatless Mondays are beneficial to your personal health. The federal government’s dietary guidelines call for consumption of 2-3 cups of vegetables per day, but 90% of Americans do not meet this requirement, preferring to consume meat and dairy products, which don’t provide many of the nutrients vegetables give, in particular fiber and vitamin C.

I get it, steak and cheese are delicious and far more appealing than a plate of brussel sprouts,  but not eating enough veggies is really detrimental to your health and can cause a lack of certain nutrients. Just one day a week of not eating meat can help raise your vegetable intake and improve your overall dietary wellbeing.

I have been vegetarian for about a year and a half and I haven’t experienced any negative effects, but I understand that going full-in on vegetarianism/veganism isn’t accessible for many people. I still find myself craving a thick steak or sushi many days. But going without these foods one day a week is definitely feasible for most people, and the benefits for the environment and your health outweigh the cravings (that you can eat on Tuesday, or any other day of the week).