Weekday Veggie

Bad news: climate change is happening. Global temperatures rise each year, the Arctic is melting and sea level is rising. The Maldives are disappearing, just like the Amazon Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. But there’s good news! Our efforts can change this. The decisions that we make every day have a great impact on this problem. I have a solution that might be unexpected, but can change our world.

Be a Weekday Vegetarian. Meat consumption has a great impact on the environment that is often overlooked. By cutting down on your meat consumption, you will greatly reduce your carbon footprint. Meat production is very water-intensive. In fact, farm animals use more than half the water consumed in the US each year. In 2009, meat production used 47 times more water than soybean production.

Now I understand that cutting meat out of one’s diet seems like a daunting task. Food is a huge part of our social culture and cutting meat out of that completely just might not be feasible. But that’s ok, because the truth is that by lessening your meat intake each week, you’re already making a huge impact! Did you know that you save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for six whole months? The average American eats 62 pounds of beef every year. Cut that number in half and you’ve saved over 15 years’ worth of shower water!

So go ahead and try it. If you’re scared to give it up, start with Meatless Monday! Cutting one meal of chicken out of American diets each week is equivalent to taking 500,000 cars off the road. Maybe you can start a “Tofu Tuesday” or a “Meat-free Friday”. Even better, try being a Weekday Vegetarian! Avoid meat Monday through Friday, and eat what you want Saturday and Sunday. You will make a huge impact on the environment and you’ll make strides toward improving your health.

So will you take the challenge? Will you join me and countless others in this movement? Help me make a difference and start saving our planet.

Check out my inspiration for this blog post! These are two great TED Talks:

Weekday Vegetarian

Meatless Monday


19 thoughts on “Weekday Veggie

    • If that’s what works for you, I think it’s a great idea! Adapting your options to your lifestyle is really important.

  1. I don’t know, Michaela. But like most Chinese people, cuisine or food is really my base line. I feels like life will be really not fun without good food. It maybe true that Veggie is not necessary tasteless. (There is special veggie cuisine in China, mostly monks and people with special belief). I was tricked to one of those Buddhist Cuisine restaurants(http://www.hicenter.cn/columns_detail.asp?id=435687) by my grandmother, who is a strong Buddhism believer. It really amazed me how they cooked all the veggie to be as tasty as meats. There are “chicken”, “beef”, “pork” and even “fish” in the dishes, but they all turned out to be vegetables. But after that time, I know that I can not live without meat. Even if I like the veggies in those restaurants, it is mostly because they taste like meat. I am sorry.

    • She isn’t suggesting you never eat meat. Just go without it for one day a week.

      I usually prefer veggie cuisine that is what it is and doesn’t try to be “substitute meat.” Like, give me a stew of vegetables rather than tofurkey.

      • I definitely agree that I am not a huge fan of the imitation meat. I feel like if I’m going to eat vegetables, let them taste like vegetables. I think they’re delicious on their own! I also get nervous about what they put in the food to make it taste like meat. If it’s not meat, what kind of chemicals are they using??

  2. I like the PETA poster, but I do want to point out that lots of vegetables are sold with alarming levels of contaminants like animal poop and what not. The problems of industrialized production and centralized processing that can lead to spinach or tomatoes or peppers making people sick are problems of how food is produced, not whether it is animal or pant kingdom.

  3. TO really make a dent in BU student culture, you need to get teams or Greek orgs into this.

    How about getting all Greek orgs to commit to meatless Monday, for example, in their kitchens or in for sororities in what they choose at the dining halls.

    Launch it with a “manly vedgies” for the fraternities where they have like an eating/recipe contest for tasty meat-free food…

    Five alarm chili
    Grilled romaine spears
    Kale chips (omg they are so good)
    Crispy buffalo soy snacks (just dont say tofu)

  4. I had no idea that meat production required so much water! I think this is a very interesting idea. I’ve always admired the ideals of a vegetarian, but could never actually implement it because I like meat too much. This idea has the potential for people to make an impact and reduce their carbon footprint without cutting meat out of their diet completely. Actually, now that I think about it, I didn’t have any meat today. I guess now I can feel good about my Meatless Sunday!

    • Yeah, I have never been a total veggie, but I sometimes find myself going a day or two without eating meat and never meaning too. After a day or so, in fact, I find my tastes shift to meatless.

      Like a good salad. Yum. Bean soup. Yum.

      Cherry Aley has this grilled tofu salad which is just damn good with an Asian dressing. I eat it cause its good, not because I love cows. It is funny to me when people somehow think it is like ‘impossible” to eat tasty food without critters involved.

  5. I was really surprised how much water goes into meat production. At the same time even going one day without meat a week would be a problem for me. Humans are omnivores and it is natural for us to eat meat. Meat is also very nutritious and provides certain nutrients that vegetables alone cannot provide. I am a very active person and I feel my body needs these nutrients. Also hunting animals and eating meat has allowed us to become the dominate species on this earth. Certain theory’s on evolution would back that the consumption of meat has contributed to our development. Sorry, but this idea just does not work for me.

    • The amount of animal protein we consumed over evolutionary history is tiny compared to what the average American eats now.

      Of course, Michaela is trying to be vegan which is NO animal protein. Vanilla vegetarians eat cheese, milk, eggs, and so on which has all the proteins you need.

      And quinoa, which is just damn yummy, has complete proteins.

      And, how many OVERWEIGHT ex-football players are out there? You may not be as active in the near future.

      • Thanks! I’ve actually read about this program a bit and have been interested in learning more. I had no idea bucknellians were involved. Thanks!

  6. This is such an interesting post. I’m a big fan of steak, chicken, pork and tons of other meat. The thought of a peppered, medium-rare flank steak with a dark beer is highly compelling to me for a last meal. But this post has definitely inspired me to re-think my next order at the Bison (think about that word — meat truly permeates the culture at Bucknell), and I will try for the Meatless-Mondays.

  7. Michaela,
    First off, I think you made a great post. It is a topic that you truly care about and you conveyed your idea very well. I definitely think you make a solid point in asking people to reduce their meat consumption to six times a week vs. seven. The facts are absolutely astonishing about the resource reductions society would experience by doing so; however, I feel like this system could only work if one were living independently. Being in a frat, I find it difficult to believe that if I cut meat out of my diet once a week, it would benefit society. Our chef would still be preparing meat meals regardless of my decision to opt out. The only way I could see positive results occurring is if the whole fraternity were to cut meat out of their diet on the same day every week. Keep up the great work posting and I look forward to reading your future blogs.

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