The Movement Goes Global

June 21st, 2009

mm_globe_01We’re happy to welcome Sir Paul McCartney to the cause! On the same day we launched our new website, the former Beatle, along with his daughters Stella and Mary, kicked off Meat Free Monday in the U.K. Sir Paul has put together an impressive list of celebrities and international organizations working to slow climate change. Now on both sides of “the pond,’ people have a compelling reason to start the week meatless.

Nearly a billion Hindus throughout Asia are joining in. Respected Hindu statesman, Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, has thrown his full support behind Sir Paul and meatless Monday. Zed endorses the campaign for health, environmental and ethical reasons. Hindus are adherents of ahimsa (not harming living things) and strong supporters of sattvik (vegetables and fruit).

In Europe, the city of Ghent in Belgium is leading the meatless Monday charge. Its city council has instituted a "Veggie Dag,’ when restaurants, schools, hospitals and city offices provide meatless options to help reduce climate change. So far Veggie Dag has been a huge success, and other cities in Belgium and Holland are moving to start their own programs.

Dozens of Israel’s finest restaurants have teamed up with "On the Table’ food magazine to institute Vegetarian Mondays. Their goal is to create cuisine that supports the global effort to better the environment. "On the Table’ has also asked its readers to promise to go meatless one day a week. Hundreds of people from all over the world have signed their names and joined the movement.

Here in America, Baltimore is at the vanguard, choosing to focus on the future: its children. Renegade public school food czar, Tony Geraci, has convinced the city’s education board to institute Meatless Monday options in every school’s lunch menu. This revolutionary program will begin in the fall. It’s a huge victory for children’s health, particularly in light of the soaring youth obesity statistics in urban areas across the country.

Wherever we turn today, we’re finding people and institutions that support the notion of cutting back on meat to improve personal health and the health of the planet. If you agree, please take the Meatless Monday pledge. And then tell your friends, family, school or office mates and fellow church or club members to do the same. Together, by forming a truly global movement, we can transform the world one Monday at a time.