By John Vlahakis

The idea of a Meatless Monday all began with the U.S. Food Administration back in 1917 as away to promote rationing in World War I. It was resurrected in World War II, and then made its official and standing return in 2003.  Meatless Monday is being backed by a broad range of restaurants and high-profile food suppliers — not to mention a wide swath of environmentalists, nutritionists, animal-rights activists, universities, hospitals, food bloggers, movie stars and public-health advocates.  Back in April San Francisco became the first American city to officially encourage its restaurants to support Meatless Mondays, and the Baltimore Public School system adopted it over a year ago, as did Yale University.  The idea is not being touted by vegans or vegetarians, but as an awareness to support a healthier lifestyle.  It’s a lowbrow approach to changing our dining habits, at least once a week.  Environmentally, it’s a sound idea, something akin to not driving a car or using any fossil fuels for just one day a week.  It’s an idea that once you do it every Monday, perhaps you would do it another day and so on.  The healthy lifestyle approach was really a way to get people to lower their meat consumption and in essence reduce their cholesterol.  I personally like it because it addresses our carbon footprint.  Livestock add to our green house gasses through their methane production, and if we can lower our meat intake, that in effect could lower our greenhouse gasses.  It’s a lowbrow approach to living a little healthier, yet doing something good for our environment as well.  So eat those veggie and fruit salads this coming Monday.

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