Meatless Monday by Monday Campaigns

Why Meatless Monday Is a Good Starting Point For Taking Animals Off Your Plate

Want to go vegan or reduce the meat in your diet but don’t know where to start? Consider Meatless Monday. 

This global movement got its start in 2003, but its roots date back to World War I when Americans were asked to eat meatless on Tuesday to preserve food. In World War II, it switched to Monday but largely faded from memory. . . until 2003 when Meatless Monday was brought back by former advertising executive Sid Lerner. 

After learning that Americans eat 15 percent more meat than they should, he concluded that 15 percent of 21 meals a week amounted to three meals a week, hence the rationale for going meatless one day a week.  

Today, over 40 countries have embraced Meatless Monday, and there’s good reason to make it part of your weekly mantra. 

Photo by Ella Olsson on

“Meatless Monday can be an entry into eating even more plant-based meals during the week,” says Sharon Palmer, M.S.F.S., R.D.N., the Plant-Powered Dietitian and author of California Vegan


Among individuals aware of MeatlessMonday, 35 percent said the campaign has influenced their decision to not eat, cut back on, or consider reducing the amount of meat they eat, according to one survey. 

And, more recently, over 30 percent of meat eaters following Meat Free Monday, the UK version which was founded by Paul McCartney, for five years stopped eating meat, according to its recent data. Another 20 percent dropped meat entirely after three to five years.   

Contrary to what you might think, though, eating meatless just one day a week does add up.  

Vegan Meatless Monday Girl Eating Salad
Photo by Alex Green on

“It can make an impact on reducing saturated fat linked with health issues as well as lowering the environmental impact of diets,” Palmer says, adding that if the whole country were to go meatless on Mondays, the impact on the planet in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and water footprint would be significant.

So who’s in? 

Once you experience how easy taking meat off your plate one day a week is, adding two, three, even six more meatless days will be a cinch!   

Karen Asp
Karen Asp

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