“One day a week cut out the meat.” Sound familiar? It’s the byline for the non-profit initiative behind the Meatless Monday movement. Their (and our) goal is to reduce meat consumption by fifteen percent – that’s one day out of seven – and in doing so, to improve the health of the planet and the health of everyone that does their part on Monday. It’s a wonderful movement that many chefs, schools, universities, bloggers (hello!), and even a few foreign cities are taking part in, all in the name of good health for your body and the planet. According to the Meatless Monday website, “going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.” Sounds like enough of an argument already, right?
But I want to talk about something that’s not mentioned anywhere in the Meatless Monday mission statement. I want to know, do you vegetarians, non-vegetarians, former or future-vegetarians think that vegetarians lead happier lives? A considerable amount of research has been done on the topic that seems to yes, vegetarians are happier. One case in particular stands out in my mind. A group of Seventh Day Adventists were spit down the middle into two groups, the first group followed a vegetarian diet and the second did not. Their religion is not important to the study except to provide that the participants in both groups had similar backgrounds and lifestyles, except of course for their diets. The results of the experiment were conclusive and clear: the vegetarian group had much lower incidence of depression and anxiety suggesting an “unrecognized benefit of vegetarian diets.”
So are you convinced? And what do you think? Leave comments below and we can discuss this topic together. Or just give vegetarianism a whirl this Monday and see for yourself how your mood fares. You may be surprised by the satisfaction that you get from knowing that no creature perished on the prongs of your fork.