Meatless Monday is a global movement encouraging people to skip meat consumption on Mondays for personal and environmental health. The initiative began in 2003 by Sid Lerner, and today it is a widely accepted and practiced phenomenon.
Let’s explore some of the most compelling Meatless Monday statistics, including its growth in popularity, impact on the environment, and benefits for personal health.
Main Meatless Monday Statistics
- Reducing your meat intake can save water.
- In a survey, nearly 60 percent of respondents were likely to participate in the Meatless Monday initiative.
- Eating less meat can reduce the carbon footprint by about 50 percent.
- Raising animals as a food source uses 30 percent of the earth’s land surface.
- Shifting to a plant-based diet can improve biodiversity and soil health.
- Switching to plant-based meals just once a week can improve heart health.
- One beef hamburger requires 30 bathtubs full of water to produce.
- 800 million people suffer from hunger, yet the food that could be given to them is used to feed livestock.
- Many Americans are cutting back on how much meat they consume because of health concerns.
- Promotions or discounts could persuade people to reduce their meat intake.
Reducing your meat intake can save water (EOS)
According to multiple studies, replacing meat with plant-based proteins and reducing food loss altogether could help lower water consumption by nearly 30 percent.
In a survey, nearly 60 percent of respondents were likely to participate in the Meatless Monday initiative (Food Systems Journal)
In a survey conducted by the Meatless Monday campaign, 58 percent of respondents said they were aware of the initiative, and 55 percent said they were likely to participate.
Eating less meat can reduce the carbon footprint by about 50 percent (University of Michigan)
Based on a study conducted through the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, we can reduce GHG by around 50 percent by switching to a plant-based diet.
Raising animals as a source of food uses 30 percent of all the earth’s land surface (Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future)
There’s an increased pressure to produce more meat, which leads to an uptick in deforestation and losing crucial rainforests, as well as land degradation as a whole.
Shifting to a plant-based diet can improve biodiversity and soil health (Meatless Monday)
If consumers were to reduce their dairy and meat intake, it effectively reduces the percentage of land used for animal agriculture. Therefore, it can restore and protect soil health productivity, especially when eating more plant-based proteins like legumes and beans.
Switching to plant-based meals just once a week can improve heart health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
Consumers can help fight stroke and heart disease by participating in Meatless Mondays since vegetables and fruits can help your body combat cardiovascular disease.
One beef hamburger requires 30 bathtubs full of water to produce (Waterwise)
A plant-based diet is much less wasteful when it comes to water. The amount that it takes just to make one beef burger is enough to greatly impact water scarcity issues that may be on the horizon when considering the climate change problems that the world is combating.
800 million people suffer from hunger, yet the food that could be given to them is used to feed livestock (Food and Agriculture Organization)
Currently, there are around 800 million people that are suffering from malnutrition or hunger. However, if you take the amount of cereal used to feed chickens, pigs, and cattle, it could feed three times that amount of people.
Many Americans are cutting back on how much meat they consume because of health concerns (Meatless Monday)
Based on a national survey of 1,000 participants, 63 percent said they are in the process of cutting back on meat consumption primarily because they have health problems.
Promotions or discounts could persuade people to try reducing their meat intake (Meatless Monday)
Twenty-four percent of survey respondents mentioned that they might be encouraged to try plant-based options at restaurants and markets if a discount or promotion was offered.
Eating red meat is linked to many health problems (Harvard School of Public Health)
Eating processed meat is already bad enough, as it contains tons of sodium and saturated fat. However, red meat is also harmful and linked to cancer and cardiovascular illnesses.
A lot of meat contains chemicals due to the fertilizers (United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization)
Another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, is heavily used in chemical fertilizers. Farmers spray these fertilizers on crops they use to feed their cattle, which means our meat eventually contains many chemicals.
Participating in Meatless Mondays is equal to not driving 91 billion miles (Environmental Working Group)
If everyone in the U.S. didn’t eat cheese or milk for just one day each week, it would be the equivalent of removing 7.6 million cars from the road.
Some form of Meatless Mondays is Active in over 40 countries (Monday Campaigns/Johns Hopkins Centers for a Livable Future)
The scientific advisor for the Meatless Monday campaign has helped more than 40 countries begin campaigns of their own to consume less meat. The primary goal is to protect the environment and live a healthier lifestyle.
Adding more plant-based proteins can help fight Type 2 diabetes (Monday Campaigns)
Swapping half a serving of meat with a plant-based protein daily can help fight Type 2 diabetes.
Eating less meat, even once a week can help you lose weight (PubMed)
A review of 12 top-notch studies revealed that individuals who adhered to vegetarian diets for an average of 18 weeks experienced notably greater weight loss than those who consumed non-vegetarian diets.
The way we use earth’s resources for food is highly inefficient as it relates to animal agriculture (PubMed)
At present, our utilization of the earth’s resources is largely inefficient, with around 40 percent of all crops grown worldwide being utilized as animal feed.
If we reduce our meat intake, it’ll allow for more land available to grow food for humans (Springer)
Based on research findings, if we were to allocate space for growing food intended for human consumption, there could be a potential increase of around 70 percent in the global supply of calories.
We can reduce meat waste by participating in Meatless Mondays (Environmental Working Group)
A staggering quantity of meat, typically about 20 percent, is discarded at various stages, such as retail, institutional, and consumer levels.
A higher participation in Meatless Mondays can help reduce waterway pollution (Inspire Clean Energy)
The contamination of our water bodies is attributed to agricultural runoff that contains hormones, antibiotics, and animal waste, which eventually enter the water cycle. In contrast to plant farming, this form of pollution is not prevalent.
There are 1.5 billion vegetarians globally (British Council)
Some people may opt for a vegetarian diet because meat is either too costly or not easily accessible. In contrast, others may choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle due to ethical concerns or personal taste preferences.
There are 8.8 million adults in the U.S. that don’t eat meat; 3.7 million are vegan (VRG)
Out of the eight million adults in the United States who identify as vegetarians, 3.7 million individuals, or about 3.3 percent of the adult population, reported adhering to a vegan diet that strictly excludes all animal products. This information was obtained through a Harris Poll survey.
It has been recommended that there should be a reduction in meat consumption by the year 2030 (National Food Strategy Report)
Growing meat consumption due to population expansion increases methane, water harm, and resource drain. The World Health Organization report on meat suggests that failing to cut back on meat consumption by 2030 could result in irreversible damage to the environment.
Plant-based food sales increased by six percent in 2021 (GFI)
The fact that the plant-based food market has grown by six percent is noteworthy, especially considering that certain meat markets have seen a slowdown in their growth, as reported by the Good Food Institute.
The plant-based market has a $1.4 billion value (Winsight Grocery Business)
The market for plant-based foods and meat alternatives has surged by 74 percent in the last three years, reflecting the growing popularity of plant-based dietary preferences. The final market figures for leafy-only foods have also hit an all-time high of $1.4 billion.
One-third of the Meatless Monday participants become vegan (Meat Free Mondays)
According to a recent study, after five years of participating in Meat Free Monday, one-third of individuals transition to a vegetarian diet. This highlights the potential of long-term engagement campaigns to promote plant-based dietary changes.
The world’s meat consumption destroys a large portion of rainforest every hour (INPE)
Every hour, an area of rainforest equivalent to a hundred football pitches is cleared to make space for grazing cattle.
We won’t be able to save the planet without cutting back on meat (PubMed)
Based on an Oxford University 2020 study, it’s impossible to limit global warming to the lowest safe level even if harmful greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are eliminated immediately, without a transition towards a more plant-based diet.
We could be facing a mass extinction of species on a global level (Science)
The loss of species and biodiversity is primarily attributed to agricultural intensification, expansion, and overfishing. Experts predict a global mass extinction of species in the next century if these trends persist.
More than 80 percent of soybeans get used for animal feed (WWF)
A small percentage of soy is used for human consumption, as over 80 percent of the global soybean production is utilized as animal feed for farmed animals.
Beef uses too many resources only to supply two percent of the world’s calories (Union of Concerned Scientists)
Despite utilizing 60 percent of the world’s agricultural land, beef production provides less than five percent of the world’s protein and less than two percent of its calories.
Most of the world’s B12 supplements foes toward feeding livestock (Baltimore Post-Examiner)
Livestock consumes 90 percent of the vitamin B12 supplements produced globally.
Billions of animals get killed each year for farming purposes (FAO)
Every year, approximately 60 billion animals are raised and slaughtered for farming purposes.
70 percent of our freshwater supply goes toward agriculture (Worldwatch Institute)
Agriculture accounts for 70 percent of the world’s freshwater usage, with one-third used to cultivate crops for animal feed.
Many restaurants are offering meatless alternatives as part of the MM initiative (Monday Campaigns)
Fast food chains increasingly offer plant-based options, with Burger King and McDonald’s introducing meat alternatives such as the Impossible Burger and the McPlant sandwich in Europe in 2021.
Farmers don’t have to suffer because of Meatless Mondays (YPTE)
Supporting a reduction in meat consumption does not necessarily harm farmers. Despite the growing population, the demand for meat can still be met with less meat intake. By promoting small-scale farming, we can move away from large industrial farming systems and support sustainable practices.
FAQs about Meatless Mondays
How effective is Meatless Monday?
Meatless Monday is effective in reducing the demand for valuable environmental resources like land, water, and energy, as well as in mitigating emissions. By abstaining from one serving of beef every Monday for a year, the emissions saved are equivalent to driving 348 miles in a car. In individual terms Meatless Mondays are not that effective. However, as a ritual and awareness campaign, it is effective in signalling to politicians that people supporting large-scale environmental change.
What if everyone did Meatless Monday?
If everyone participated in Meatless Monday, it would lead to significant environmental benefits. Extensive research shows that if the entire population went vegetarian for just one day, the United States could conserve 100 billion gallons of water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Who started no meat Monday?
The global movement known as Meatless Monday, which encourages people to reduce meat consumption for personal health and environmental reasons, was initiated by Sid Lerner, the Founder of The Monday Campaigns, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future in 2003.
Why people don’t eat non veg on Monday?
People do not eat non-vegetarian food on Mondays due to religious reasons. For instance, Mondays are dedicated to Shiva Puja, Tuesdays to Mangala Gauri Puja, and Wednesdays to Budh Puja.
Is Meatless Monday still a thing?
Meatless Monday is still a thing, as it was a global movement in the past. Although the enthusiasm may have diminished, there are still numerous incentives to participate in this trend. Additionally, it is important to note that going meatless is not limited to Mondays; you can choose any day of the week to embrace this practice.
Why Meatless Monday is bad?
Meatless Monday is bad because it can result in increased food waste and noncompliance, as evidenced by a study conducted in Helsinki, Finland in 2013. The study found that on forced vegetarian days, students were 40 percent more likely to waste food on their plate in some cases.
What theory was behind Meatless Monday?
The theory behind Meatless Monday is that Monday is the most opportune day for individuals to initiate or resume a new health behavior. According to consumer polls, Meatless Monday has gained significant recognition among Americans, with nearly 30 percent of the population being aware of the campaign’s existence.
Why did Meatless Monday start?
Meatless Monday started as a health-focused response to the issue of animal production and consumption. Today, it has evolved into a movement that addresses various aspects including health, environment, climate, and welfare of both humans and animals. The core message remains the same: “Once a week, eliminate meat.” Although the concept of a meatless day was not entirely novel in 2003, it gained momentum and popularity during that time.
Wrapping up our Meatless Monday statistics, we’ll leave you with this: As plant-based food markets continue to grow, the campaign offers a viable solution to reduce the environmental impact of meat production and support sustainable farming practices.
We must try to reduce our meat consumption to give ourselves and future generations a chance to thrive on this planet.