Meatless Monday

MMGarfieldWhy all the Monday bashing? I LOVE Mondays!

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.


About jasongillett

I'm Jason Gillett, 2 year VEGAN, and a 41 year old family man. My wife & I teach in a FL school. I am using a blog to chronicle our family's new life. View all posts by jasongillett

9 responses to “Meatless Monday

  • Karen Williams Zielke

    I heard an awfully cute quip about meatless Mondays recently, but it requires a bit of set-up. The discussion was about how cardiovascular disease can first present as impotency (the canary in the coal mine) due to its effect on the microvasculature. Someone said, “If you’re not willing to consider meatless Mondays, you may soon suffer sexless Saturdays.” I thought that was worthy of repeating. I hope that you do too!

  • Bigsneakertees

    Meatless Monday is a great thing for flesh eaters if only they can grab ahold of the lifestyle , converts is what it’s about.

    • jasongillett

      Converts are great- they are a 100% win. I also take some pride in partial wins- if all of the USA started eating a little less meat it would make a big difference. It isn’t the answer- just a temporary improvement as we march forward, imho. It is going to take a while for the big mind shift that we need to see.

  • chordataxvii

    Pretty mixed up about where I stand on this issue right now. I know of and eat occasionally meat free meals so it’s not that I don’t think I can. I don’t consider animal life to be worth the same as some people do and I don’t consider using animals for food or leather to be immoral exactly. A while ago I converted to a religion that I really do take seriously. I was preparing to go on a hunting trip and ended up checking it by my new religion. It had a thing or two to say about when it was okay to kill things and I don’t think deer fit any of those so I decided to give up hunting. Farm animals don’t fit the requirements for me either though. I can’t take the benefit of doing something if I’m not willing to do it myself, right? I’m still causing it to happen, basically sitting back and saying “I’m not a thief, that would be wrong…I have people who steal for me.” But I’m not out to change the world, you know? I’m not about to start living my life refusing to use products just because it has a leather strap or something. Animals don’t carry a degree of reason that makes me think they’re above enslavement or experimentation or used for food or parts. Sacrificing them for the good of humans is fine to me…but we can make fake leather, I have enough money that I can afford to never eat meat again, and even when being used I think they deserve to be treated as kindly as possible. This last week has been an agonizing debate with myself about what makes me a bad person or whether I’m even capable of following up on what I started. I want to be a chef, the job market closes considerably if I refuse to prepare meat or do what has to be done for lobster. I only have one person to talk to about this and as much as I love them I know they’re biased. Meat tastes good and it’s good high-protein food when I eat it in moderation. I’ve curtailed my diet already to start losing weight and grilled chicken breast is one of the better things for me I’ve found. I’m supposed to give up something that seems to be one of the best things out there because it might be evil not to? I don’t want to, I really don’t. I haven’t, hell I ate chicken this morning. And I hate myself for it a bit. I can’t live my life in a constant state of uncertainty if I’m evil, I already know I’m probably hypocritical, maybe I’m evil…I don’t know, I don’t feel evil. Even if I did switch I wouldn’t judge others for their decision…but I can’t talk to anyone. Meat eaters all say “Eat meat it’s good!” because it’s all they know, and vegetarians all say “Don’t eat meat, it’s better!” usually from a smug moral high ground I can’t identify with, or from a health standpoint that’s only valid if I’m overeating meat instead of just eating a healthy amount. I don’t know why I’m here, I guess I’d hoped expressing my thoughts to someone who seemed somewhat less militant about the issue might help me clear my head and help me figure out how I feel. That was silly of me, if I could sort out my own thoughts I wouldn’t feel the need to express confusion in the first place would I? Heh…well, right. Meatless Mondays. Sounds like a cool idea, I’ll tell the people I know about it to spread the word. Who knows, could catch on as a thing with my friends.

    • jasongillett

      Chordata my friend, you said it. There is so much of what you said that I support and plenty I’d like to share my opinions on but that reply is going to take a while.

      This part couldn’t wait: Eating Big Macs and Philly cheese steaks does not make you a bad person. Guilt is poison and I believe you need to be compassionate to yourself first. This is not the same as being selfish or self-centered. Being compassionate to yourself means not judging your own actions harshly after you’ve taken them.

      If you do something that makes you feel bad you can debate yourself for hours about whether you will do it again in the future, but it is creating a personal living Hell if you spend a second of your time on Earth punishing yourself for something that happened 10 minutes ago, or yesterday, or last week, or five years ago.

      If you treat yourself compassionately everything else that matters will fall into place eventually. Eat meat without guilt or eat less of it if you are a little guilty. If it makes you feel bad you can skip it altogether. Change your mind, when and if, your heart tells you to.

      Thank you for feeling comfortable expressing your confusion here. I really will be back here in a while, because you brought up a lot of interesting points but more than anything I wanted to share the veganuat stance on food choices because I didn’t like the thought of you beating yourself up over something you ate. What you eat does not define who you are as a person and anyone who tells you otherwise probably defines who they are by their own food choices. Talk with you soon~

  • Violet's Veg*n e-comics

    Brilliant. I could not agree more! 🙂

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