Garfield loves lasagna but he absolutely hates Mondays. Radio DJs adore silly sound effects and celebrity gossip but they, for the most part, hate Mondays. They spend all week bashing Mondays and counting down the minutes to the weekend, effectively teaching millions of listeners to join them in wishing away 5/7ths of their lives. This should be a crime! How can you hate a day… especially an awesome day like Monday?
There are many reasons to revel in the glory of Monday but one of my favorites is Meatless Monday. This movement encourages regular, meat eating omnivores to skip all meat products on this one day of the week, and it’s working. They are jumping on the MM bandwagon in droves. These omnivores might enjoy a whole turkey on Tuesday or fried chicken on Friday or even delicious wildebeest on Wednesday… but when Monday rolls around they spend the day digging into meat free meals.
Some vegetarians and vegans that have lived years without eating meat might scoff at the effort involved in going meatless once every seven days. To them it probably seems as easy as breathing to skip meat for a day. Whoop-dee-do, they may say in a bored, monotone voice.
However, many (if not most) vegetarians and vegans see the implications of a movement like this and embrace it wholeheartedly. They understand that every 7 Meatless Monday participants equal an entire vegetarian! Think of it…if all seven billion people on Earth practiced the MM way of life we would have the equivalent of ONE BILLION VEGETARIANS!
I’m sure we could argue that math with some confusing statistics about food consumption around the globe but it will be hard to convince me of anything while my fingers are in my ears and I am making a sound like Weeeeooooooeeeeeeeooooooeeeeeooooooeeeeeoooo. This is how I win most of my arguments around the house so I know it works.
Another huge benefit of the MM Movement is that it gives people a chance to explore a lifestyle they may not think they are ready to live. Meatless Monday participants have a painless way to learn what vegans and vegetarians already know: meatless meals are delicious! In fact, they are so delicious that people learn that in addition to ditching meat on Mondays, that they are also very capable of reducing their meat, dairy and egg consumption during the other 6 days of the week. This is how vegetarians are born- this is where vegans come from.
Meatless Monday is a gateway lifestyle. It shows people how easy it can be. It hooks them with the delicious foods and keeps them with many long term benefits. There can be a lot of fear to overcome when deciding to make a total life change. MM allows people to discover how easy and rewarding this lifestyle can be.
Once these meat-free explorers have made a habit of finding delicious alternatives to eat on Mondays they are likely to dial up their compassionate, healthy, and environmentally conscious days of the week. Vegan Vednesday, Animal-Free Friday, and Thoughtful Thursday are all extensions that can be used to expand the scope of their cruelty free explorations. Each of them is another baby step leading people to the brink of veganism and making them comfortable enough to jump the rest of the way in.
Many veganauts are like astronauts- they are exploring strange new worlds and boldly going where only some people have gone before (while carefully avoiding copyright infringement). Meatless Monday is a great way to start the journey: try it yourself, share it with others, encourage those who are interested, and wait patiently for those who are not yet ready. People have to decide for themselves when it is time to make a change- just be ready to help when they ask.
If you disagree let me offer my rebuttal: Weeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooo.