Do you think you’d be able to give up steaks and burgers for one day of the week? The latest city-supported health initiative is encouraging New Yorkers join the Meatless Monday movement and start their weeks off with an animal-free meal. The health and environment-focused resolution is being led by City Council members Helen Rosenthal and Corey Johnson, who asked the city last week to formally recognize Meatless Mondays and integrate the initiative into the city’s public awareness campaigns.
The Meatless Monday movement encourages people to skip meat every Monday. Already widely recognized across the US, the campaign cites numerous reasons that going meat-free for a day can drastically improve one’s health as well as benefit the environment. According to the organizers behind the initiative, skipping animal-based meals for even just one day of the week can reduce saturated fat by approximately 15 percent, slashing the risk of many diseases associated with a fatty diet, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
As an added benefit, those skipping meat for a day can also feel good about being environmentally proactive. According to Compassion Over Killing (COK), the Meatless Monday movement can also reduce a person’s carbon footprint by over 8 pounds a day, the carbon emissions equivalent of not driving for two days.
“Every time we choose a vegetarian meal, we’re choosing to help protect our health, the health of our planet, and animals,” said COK’s Executive Director Erica Meier. “By introducing this Meatless Monday resolution, the New York City Council is sending a powerful message about the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, and of course, eating fewer animals.”
The resolution proposed last week doesn’t seek to require a meatless Monday for everyone, but so far, the movement already has the support of a number of chefs as well as some forward-thinking schools across the city. According to a Meatless Monday press release, over 40 NYC schools , public, private and charter, already participate in the Meatless Monday program.