Meat Free Monday is probably the funniest and most important holiday you’ve never heard of. And, it comes fifty-two times a year.
Most of our holidays are about excess, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Thanksgiving is a good example. Americans eat about 730 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving. That’s roughly the same size as the Empire State Building.
Sure, many of us take some brief time out to serve lunch at a soup kitchen or participate in a similar activity. But then it’s right back to business.
Since 2009, we have encouraged our team members to not eat meat on Mondays. Not everyone participates, which is fine. But everyone benefits, and that’s even better.
Doing Your Part
At Green Van Lines, we believe in being part of the solution, as opposed to part of the problem. More on that below.
Eating nothing but vegetables, fruits, grains, and other non-meat one day a week is not going to change the world overnight. But it does change yourself and your family. That’s like dropping a pebble into a pool of calm water. Ripples appear and spread and eventually, they will touch the entire surface of that pool.
How We Got Here
Meat-Free Monday is not just one of our most under-recognized holidays. It’s also one of our oldest ones.
When the United States joined World War I in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson encouraged Americans to observe Meatless Tuesdays and Wheatless Wednesdays. These partial fasts helped people remember how important these products were to the war effort. Herbert Hoover, who was a much better administrator than he was a president, spearheaded the effort.
During World War II, meat was rationed like gasoline, rubber, sugar, and other commodities. So, there was a meatless day several times a week in many households. In 1947, as the world struggled to recover, President Harry Truman encouraged people to observe Meatless Tuesdays and the cumbersomely-named Poultryless Thursdays through the autumn of that year.
Apropos of nothing, part of the backlash against Poultryless Thursday eventually became the annual White House “turkey pardon.”
The idea was completely dormant until 2003, when the Center for a Livable Future, which is part of Johns Hopkins University, dusted off the holiday and packaged it as a way to highlight the ill effects that beef consumption has on the environment.
The number one source of greenhouse gases in the world is not planes, trains, or automobiles. Cow emissions release more greenhouse gases than all those things put together.
Remember the story about the pebble? Meatless Monday did not enjoy instant popularity. That came in 2009. We’d like to take credit for the change, but most of it probably belongs to Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters. With much fanfare, they began observing Meat Free Monday in June of that year. At about the same time, Ghent, Belgium became the first government to make Meatless Mondays official. In the end, Paul McCartney meat-free Monday was a huge success.
In 2010, San Francisco was the first American city to follow suit. The holiday continues to grow. In 2012, the entire country of Croatia began observing Meat Free Monday.
Meat Free Monday On Tour With Paul McCartney
For most people, Monday is the beginning of the workweek. That’s when we settle into our routines. Therefore, if you are going to alter that routine, Monday is a good day to make that change. Going without meat on Monday helps us reorient or menus for the rest of the week.
In many areas of life, the cumulative effects of small changes usually make a big difference. Skip your daily specialty coffee and see how much extra money you have at the end of the month.
Diet and nutrition are the same. If you want to lose weight, don’t go on a starvation diet. Just stop eating before you are full. Gradual, sustained weight loss is much easier to maintain. If you want to do your part to reduce greenhouse gases, don’t sell your house and move into a cave. Make small changes, and watch them add up over time.
Green Initiatives at GVL
Observing meat-free Monday is just one of the many green initiatives we support. For us, these programs are not marketing gimmicks. They are a way of doing business.
Our green moving crates are a good example. Disposable cardboard boxes waste millions of trees a year. Yes, our plastic moving crates are technically disposable. But they have a much longer useful life than cardboard boxes. With a little TLC, after your relocation, they are ready to help another business or family find a new home.
Some of our green moving crates have a second life, as a modular storage unit. These durable, stackable crates last a long time and are easy to handle.
Furthermore, every time we complete a move, we have a little celebration. Our way of celebrating is to plant ten trees. So many moving companies waste so many resources.
We are probably at least partially responsible for some of this waste. Our tree-planting program is our small way of undoing some of that damage.
At Green Van Lines, we share your values. That’s just one of the things which makes us an ideal moving partner.