Opinion: Why Meatless Mondays are good for Truckee
A group of individuals, the Meatless Monday Truckee Coalition (MMTC), has kicked off a campaign to urge Truckee Town Council to officially proclaim Mondays as Meatless.
Cities and towns across the world are proclaiming Meatless Mondays because it is good for the health of the community, for the environment, and it follows their climate change action plans.
It will show visitors and residents that Truckee is serious about saving water, the environment, community health, and lessening animal cruelty. In fact, the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District adopted Meatless Mondays in 2014.
Some cities who have already proclaimed Meatless Monday are Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, Sacramento, Long Beach, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, Tampa, Takoma Park, Annapolis, Raleigh-Durham and Marin County, and the program has popped up in Britain, Brazil, Holland, Canada, Finland, Taiwan, Croatia and Australia.
The proclamation is just that; a proclamation. The MMTC will not show up at your doorstep on Mondays to see what you are eating. Restaurants will not be forced to do anything except be given the impetus for their creative chefs to cook up plant based dishes on Mondays should they choose and garner new customers that may shun certain menus.
Maybe you are concerned about the drought and climate change? Well, you can save 1,300 gallons of water by not flushing your toilet for 6 months, or don’t take a shower for 3 months. Or, for lunch on Monday, how about you don’t eat 1 burger. It takes 61 showers worth of water to produce one pound of beef; it takes only 6 showers worth of water to produce one pound of tofu.
Nearly half of all the water used in the U.S. goes to raising animals for food. Animal Agriculture is responsible for most of the total greenhouse gases worldwide (this is more than all the cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world combined).
“If Americans reduced meat consumption by just 20 percent, it would be as though we all switched from a sedan to a hybrid,” says The Sierra Club.
Perhaps your health needs a pick up. Key benefits to your health are reducing heart disease, limiting cancer risk, diabetes, obesity, living longer and improved diet and energy.
Just as crucial to any reason to proclaim Meatless Monday is to stop having personal complicity in horrific animal cruelty: The majority of meat, milk and eggs produced in the U.S. come from animals intensively confined in factory farms, their lives bearing no resemblance to the way most of us envision.
Mother pigs are kept in cages so small they can’t even turn around. Their babies are castrated and ears notched without pain killers; some chickens are bred to grow so large that their legs often break and they suffer heart attacks at just four weeks old; most male chicks — who are of no use in egg production — are ground up alive at one day old.
Animals must be fed antibiotics to keep them alive through stressful conditions, and they live in a chronic state of low-grade illness and high grade misery and terror from unnatural conditions and the constant fear of abuse by factory farm workers.
Our arrogance and head in the sand approach to life has brought the planet to the brink of destruction. The oceans are collapsing due to overfishing and the enormous dead zones created by factory farming run off, the rainforest is nearly gone to make way for cattle ranches, and obesity, heart disease, and cancer are prevalent.
Educate yourself further with these excellent documentaries: Vegucated, Forks over Knives, Cowspiracy, Earthlings, and Meet your Meat.
If everyone participated in Meatless Mondays, 1.4 billion factory farmed animal lives would be saved. If everyone participated in Meatless Mondays, that would be like taking 1.5 million cars off the road. Hunger would end worldwide.
Your actions and choices are powerful, and future generations deserve your thoughtful actions for a planet they will inherit. It is just not fair to future generations and the planet as a whole to use the whole damn thing up!
Please visit http://www.keviesveggiecafe.org to sign our petition for a Meatless Monday proclamation in Truckee.
Keaven Van Lom is a Truckee resident.