Why our family won’t participate in Meatless Monday, but it’s OK if you do (Part 1)

The farm is our family’s livelihood and that of at least 7 or 8 other families. We raise Angus cattle so you probably won’t see us participating in Meatless Monday anytime soon, but it’s absolutely OK if you do. 

MeatlessMonday is a social movement. Their website states that “skipping meat one day a week is good for you, great for your nation’s health, and better for the planet.” This movement started in 2003 as a public health campaign and is active in 44 different countries. Last I looked there were over 510,000 posts on instagram using the hashtag “Meatless Monday.” For the next few weeks I want to take a look at some of the claims in favor of #MeatlessMonday and see how they stand up against available research and our family’s practices.

So let me clarify. It’s ok if you participate in Meatless Monday. It’s not ok if you blindly participate in Meatless Monday.

If you choose to take part in Meatless Monday – make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Meals should be selected based on what your body is craving to feel nourished. That could mean eating meat on a Monday, or it could mean eating a delicious salad full of homegrown vegetables that you don’t want to go bad. But it also could mean you forgot to go grocery shopping this weekend and you simply don’t have any meat in your fridge. But maybe you saw a veggie pizza on the take-out menu and your mouth started watering.  Or perhaps you’re so tired from Monday, all you have the energy to prepare is a bowl of cereal.

All of these scenarios are OK, but none of these scenarios warrant the hashtag MeatlessMonday. Maybe #homegrown, #lazy, #takeout..or simply, #monday. Social media feeds our longing to feel as though we belong and movements such as #meatlessmonday are easy to join without truly knowing what we’re supporting. Over the next few weeks I’m hoping to help debunk some big myths about beef and show you how family farms such as ours benefit when consumers make educated decisions about their food purchases. If you still want to take part in Meatless Monday after reading along – you’ll at least be doing so as an informed consumer.

There was a time in my life when I wasn’t an informed consumer either. I’ll tell you more about it on Monday.  

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