In the decade since its inception, Meatless Monday’s influence has been felt around the globe—even in countries, like India, with predominantly vegetarian populations. Meatless Monday’s founder, Sid Lerner, spoke with veteran reporter Shonali Muthalaly at India’s leading English daily The Hindu to discuss the movement’s humility, flexibility, and improbable success.
“It’s a really incredible thing for a campaign to achieve this level of recognition on such a limited budget,” Lerner said. “Certainly, it would have been inconceivable without such a robust and enthusiastic online community. But I also think we were in the right place culturally to heed such a message, knowing what we now know about the benefits of a plant-based diet and the dangers of excessive meat consumption.”
With population of over 1.2 billion, India joins neighboring China as one of the largest Meatless Monday participants in the world, and a thrilling case study for the future of the program. Lerner credits India with a rich and diversified meatless cuisine from which international audiences can benefit. “Ultimately, our goal is less to ‘sell’ Meatless Monday to Indian communities than to bring them into the conversation, where their contributions can be a valuable asset to participants everywhere,” he said.