With the collection of over 50 new pledges, the Meatless Monday campaign made a marvelous reappearance in Northwestern Dining Halls on Monday, November 17th!
The Meatless Monday global initiative to reduce individuals’ meat consumption–namely, by not eating meat on Monday–focuses on the environmental, health-related, and and economic benefits of a vegetarian-based diet.
Signing the Meatless Monday pledge doesn’t require remarkable changes in anyone’s lifestyle, yet it contains remarkable benefits: If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat just one day a week, it would be equivalent to not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
Simply by collecting signatures in three Northwestern dining halls during one lunch period, the Northwestern community has made a substantial impact: 54 fewer dining hall hamburgers not eaten saves almost 190,000 gallons water and 250 kg of carbon dioxide. (That amount of CO2 not produced is like taking your car off of the road for over 17,000 miles!)
Furthermore, each individual who pledged improved his or her health by reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and obesity. It saved each pledger money on each grocery store trip and all of us money, in the larger context of healthcare prices. Furthermore, it promotes a sustainable food system: Meat production demands a vast amount of valuable resources (like water, land, and soil nutrients) and causes a vast amount of harm, by producing greenhouse gases, contributing to deforestation and land erosion, and causing soil and water pollution, just to name a few.