My journey to vegetarianism started out with a Meatless Monday and an idea of eating a little bit healthier. I was just starting college and needed to adjust my diet due to the food options offered on campus. Back at home I would limit eating meat during the day but the majority of the dinners that my family ate contained meat. I tried a Meatless Monday diet to test the waters and it wasn’t as hard as I thought.
As the month of Meatless Mondays went on I started to notice the number of vegetarian options at restaurants and eventually I started to lose the desire to eat meat products. After a few weeks I ended up switching to a complete vegetarian diet. The mind set of eliminating a part of my diet was a foreign concept that sounded rather difficult but when it was out of my sight then I no longer craved it.
My sister had tried a vegetarian diet but ended it after just a few weeks, it’s a tough transition that can be adjusted to. She craved bacon and chicken strips and when they were in front of her, she couldn’t resist.
A recent study in the article Appetite shows that I’m not alone. People who are given a “cue to action” are more likely to make the switch from eating meat to being vegetarian. After an event that makes a person change a part of their life causes a response to action. This is causing a rise in the trend of vegetarianism as it gains momentum and the health benefits become clearer.
How to set a Meatless Monday mind:
- It is proven that it is easier to reduce rather than eliminate so start with Meatless Mondays.
- People with a strong identity as a healthy eater tend to switch easier.
- A positive attitude towards diet leads to a longer basis of vegetarianism.
Americans are prevented from health eating habits due to barriers such as the enjoyment of meat, unwillingness to change, and the idea that humans were “meant to eat meat.” Campaigns like Meatless Monday were created to help confront their barriers.
How Meatless Monday’s helped through hard times:
Meatless Mondays started as a way for the government to conserve food during World War I, the Food Administration advised families to adapt the idea that “Food Will Win the War.” Wheatless Wednesday was also implemented and more than 13 million families pledged to observe the national conservation days. The campaign presented itself during World War II and post war in order to feed war-torn Europe.
Now a days Mondays are still considered Meatless for many Americans as part of a public health awareness campaign to prevent illness associated with excessive meat consumption.
With a moto of “one day a week, cut out meat” the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future aims for individuals to do something good for themselves and for the planet.
Rising trends in the mainstream:
The number of vegetarians is 7.3 million and rising continuously as presented in a study published by Vegetarian Times. As vegetarianism becomes more mainstream, restaurants are making moves to accommodate them.
Many places are now making special options for people with food restrictions and vegetarians are the first to get more selections at fast food restaurants. Videos have shown costumers nervous to trust the fast food version of a quinoa burger but there are some new alternatives that are gaining recognition.
We are told to have a meatless day each week from doctors around the United States through campaigns and that idea is catching on. I have gone strong with a vegetarian diet for nearly a year and have seen the health benefits and feel comfortable eating places with meat around. Maybe one day we’ll have a worldwide Meatless Monday.
Featured image is a market on Moore Street largest in Dublin, Ireland photo by Marek Slusarczyk (Wikipedia, Creative Commons)