The idea of Meatless Monday is increasingly entering the public consciousness. Even more than the environmental reasons, people are talking about the health benefits of cutting back on meat. No less than the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, is only the most recent public official championing our cause.
Foregoing a run for governor, and having weathered a backlash from an extramarital affair, Villaraigosa is ready to focus on his family and his health. He announced to the press in an interview last week: "I’m eating healthier and eating less, including meatless Mondays.’ Combining yoga, weight workouts, stretching routine and meatless Monday, Villaraigosa is a model of the modern mayor who stresses personal health – both for himself and to send a message to his constituents.
Similarly, Mayor Sheila Dixon of Baltimore, before she left office, announced a week of service projects in her city – kicking off the week with none other than Meatless Monday. She encouraged her Cabinet and other members of city government to visit local Hampstead Hill Academy (which goes meatless on Monday), "’to serve students lunch and highlight the importance of eating Greener and Healthier.’ We wholeheartedly applaud her efforts.
In Kentucky, the mayor of Covington, Denny Bowman, has helped institute a Meatless Monday program in all 8 schools in the surrounding county. “Obesity is a problem area,” Bowman says. “We are an old urban city. Many children don’t eat properly. Part of my job is to make sure the children are healthy.” Students are offered entrees like low fat grilled cheese on whole wheat bread, meatless chef’s salad, and whole wheat cheese pizza every Monday. Mayor Bowman, we salute you!
In cities big and small (plus schools, campuses, clubs and hospitals), leaders are sending a message that health matters – and going meatless on Monday is an easy way to make a big difference!