Beyond Meatless Monday: Vegan on the Weekend
You’ve likely heard about Meatless Monday, and perhaps you’re an active follower of it as a way to help reduce your meat consumption and carbon footprint.
But, apparently we can take this a step further, and people are doing so by going vegan… for just the weekend. After all, if you can’t jump into the pool, why not at least try dipping your toe?
Following Erin’s Instagram story that garnered SO MUCH feedback that we had to write a post about it to continue the conversation, we are simply having a difficult time stopping there.
Believers of Meatless Monday participate for a number of reasons, including:
- It’s easy. It’s just one day of the week, and less of a commitment than going vegetarian full-time.
- It’s more eco-friendly. Producing meat uses up to 50 times more fossil fuels than growing veggies (gasp!)… beyond that, it uses up to 18,000 gallons of water per pound of beef. Don’t get me started on our fleeting water supply. That’s another rant for another time. Finally, if you eat meat, you require four times more farmland than your meatless friends. Giving up meat just one day a week allows you to reduce consumption dramatically. Moral of the story: You DO make a difference, even if you don’t think you do.
- There’s a chance it could save your life. Yeah, we said it. While education on the topic has grown, and helped in making us more aware of our meat-eating ways, there are countless studies out there that conclude that diets heavy in meat can cause all kinds of complications, including lung disease and stroke. A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that just eating one vegetarian meal per day could lower the risk of dying from cancer or heart disease by as much as 20%.
- It’s kinder. Without ruining meat for you (that’s not our job, that’s entirely YOUR decision) if you take a moment to think about the life of a steak, from birth through slaughter, the life of a cow is not pretty. We’ll leave it at that.
Alright… so why vegan for the weekend?
I get it. If you’re a full-time vegan, you’re likely scoffing, rolling your eyes, or laughing. But for those who haven’t adopted a full-time plant-based diet will GLADLY tell you that it feels nearly impossible to entirely give up a life of meat, cheese and dairy.
I am one of those people. I understand the comprehensive benefits, but it’s simply a really challenging thought for me. More than anything, as I type this, I am days away from a trip to New York City, where I can’t imagine not grabbing a slice of authentic New York Style pizza. I grew up with a vegetarian mother, and a meat-eating father. My overall diet is healthy and features lots of plant-based foods… but I am also a huge fan of meat-based protein. THE CONFLICT!
With that said, I’m about to embark on a “vegan for the weekend” personal challenge, and I’ll tell you ALL about it when I’m done (because there’s a rumor floating around that that is what you have to do). While I know, wholeheartedly, that I am not going to experience the long-term benefits of what veganism can offer your body, I’m excited to test out vegan recipes, see how my body feels after a weekend of being mindful about the choices I put into my body- which is the exact opposite of my normal weekend lifestyle (#badyogi)… and maybe, JUST MAYBE, it’ll change my perspective and make me consider changing my diet ever so slightly to incorporate a more plant-based diet… even just one or two days a week.
Have tips on adopting a more plant-based/ vegetarian/ vegan lifestyle? Would you ever consider a ‘Meatless Monday’ or ‘Vegan for the Weekend’ lifestyle? Sound off and let us know your best advice. I’ll be sharing my experience over on my Instagram stories @allisonbends, and on Bad Yogi Magazine in early July.