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Natural Awakenings

Meatless Mondays: World’s Largest Grassroots Diet Education Blitz Hits March 20

Feb 28, 2011 05:45PM

The annual global Meatout observance has grown explosively since its inception in 1985, with people in 30 countries and all 50 U.S. states participating last March. The latest U.S. twist in the 2011 Meatout edition will be events aiming to serve vegan food to 10,000 veg-curious passersby and newcomers to veganism as a way to introduce them to the idea of Meatless Mondays.

In the United States, national sponsor Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM) reports that 30 million Americans have at least explored a meat-free diet, and one in five teens thinks that vegetarianism is “cool.” Major manufacturers and retailers have come to support the concept by adding meat- and dairy-free meals. Several national fast food chains now offer veggie burgers and some major baseball venues even have veggie ballpark dogs. Meanwhile, national beef and veal consumption are declining, according to the Meatout 2009 International Report.

“Going meatless once a week can reduce your risk of chronic, preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity,” reports the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future. “It can also help limit your carbon footprint and save resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.” The average American currently eats eight ounces of meat a day, 45 percent more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended amount.

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