Meatless Mondays

Meatless Mondays offers perhaps the easiest approach to cutting back on meat.

Meatless Mondays is a popular campaign that urges people to avoid meat on Mondays. Celebrated world-wide, it’s a great way to kick-off the work week with meals that are healthy, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable.

The Meatless Mondays concept was originally developed by the US Food Administration during World War I. When food was scarce the government promoted “Meatless Days” in an effort to discourage consumption of resource-intensive meat. The government even published vegetarian recipes and menus in magazines and newspapers.

In 2003, advertising guru Sid Lerner (the man behind the famous “Don’t Squeeze the Charmin” campaign) repackaged and revived this concept for a new generation. Lerner’s effort was embraced by the Center for a Livable Future of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The Humane Society of the United States also got on board early, and remains a committed supporter of this campaign.

In 2009 Paul McCartney started his own Meat-Free Mondays organization, and his fans began to see Meatless Monday materials at his concerts. In 2011 Oprah Winfrey featured Meatless Mondays on her Television show and encouraged viewers to take part. Oprah even implemented Meatless Monday options at the Harper Studios dining halls! And in 2012 Los Angeles officially declared every Monday “Meatless Monday,” with many other cities following suit.

The Meatless Monday movement is spreading fast, with a growing number of colleges, businesses, and individuals joining its ranks. Meatless Mondays gives people the opportunity to experiment with vegetarianism, and according to the “foot in the door” principle, once they are partially invested in vegetarian eating, they are much more likely to switch to eating vegetarian or vegan full-time.

The key to having an easy and satisfying Meatless Monday is to go shopping beforehand, so you’ll have plenty of great foods to choose from during your meatless day. With that in mind, check out our page that offers up 100 easy vegan foods.