The Meatless Monday movement has found a home in America’s heartland. The First Unitarian Church of Wichita, Kansas is spreading healthy, responsible eating through monthly Meatless Monday potlucks, readings and discussion. This community in the middle of beef country is changing diets and minds one delicious bite at a time.
First Unitarian started hosting Meatless Monday potlucks to coincide with the church’s decision to educate members about ethical eating. At first some in the congregation were skeptical about meatless meals, but potluck organizer Dianne Waltner notes that “once they attend, people are usually quite impressed with the quality and variety of the food. More than one person has told me that our potlucks are the best of any meals served in church.”
The church offers more than just samples of hearty meatless food! After they eat, participants share in a selected presentation, video or discussion topic. Most recently, Meatless Monday potluckers have been reading The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle.
Discussion combined with dining teaches participants about the benefits of going meatless and provides additional, delicious incentive. Ms. Waltner reports that this two-pronged approach has convinced many to cut back:
“I have heard from several regular omnivore attendees that, even though they don’t think they’ll ever be vegetarian, they are eating less meat and trying more meat substitutes and other protein alternatives. Once they get past the idea that meat has to be the main course, it opens up a whole new range of food. And I think that’s an important part of these potlucks.”