With only one M-letter day of the week, Mindful Meat Monday and Meatless Monday are in an unspoken rivalry. The Meatless Monday group came along first with a message to cut out meat one day a week to lessen animal cruelty. The reasoning was that one meatless day a week could turn into two, three, and eventually a vegetarian lifestyle.
Mindful Meat Monday was started in June by a team of passionate folks from the Ethical Omnivore Movement. Based in Vancouver, EOM supports a paleolithic diet in which meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are eaten in a manner similar to that of our Neanderthal ancestors. Avoiding grain-filled foods and dairy that weren't available thousands of years ago, this sort of diet is adopted by many to lose weight, decrease the effects of aging, and limit inflammation. However, EOM adds another dynamic, and that's being mindful of all the food a person puts into his or her mouth: There are humane options for meat, after all.
EOM founder Lana Joe Salant began her quest after reading a Meatless Monday poster that vilified meat. A former vegan, Salant didn't agree with the Meatless Monday message because not all meat-free foods are ethically produced (she cites Big Agriculture monocrops). She also points out the difference between factory-farm and free-range-pasture meat. After hearing rumors that Vancouver would start implementing Meatless Monday in school cafeterias, Salant formed a campaign to run counter to the meat-free propaganda.
These are the five reasons you should consider eating "mindful meat" on Mondays instead:
1. To help the environment by opting against industrial crops and for free-range crops.
Just because food is meatless does not mean it was ethically produced. "Meatless" industrial crops like corn, wheat, and soy monopolize hundreds of acres of land and destroy any semblance of biodiversity. The solution is to choose more natural, free-range meat where animals graze to reverse these effects.
2. Supporting ethical animal agriculture reduces the reliance on factory farms where animals are not treated humanely.
Saving not just the chickens in their small cages or the cows at the slaughterhouse, EOM believes that by choosing only ethically raised, free-range meats, all animals in the food chain will benefit.
3. Evolving as omnivores, humans should eat meat on a paleolithic diet to improve health.
Eating an ancestral or paleo diet involves consuming more veggies and nutrient-dense foods. Since this incidentally leads to a slimmer waistline and lower coronary risk factors, it is becoming more popular as people jump on the bandwagon.
4. Supporting local farmers who use ethical practices helps the economy.
Mindful Meat Mondays isn't just about eating meat. It has to be "mindful" too. Supporting local growers who use ethical practices strengthens the local economy and lessens the reliance on Big Agriculture. This promotes a diversity of growers and producers to keep food production broad-based and resilient for the next generations.
5. Put food on the table knowing it didn't cause any unnecessary harm.
Most people don't want to promote the inhumane slaughter of animals. But by reading labels and choosing foods and meats that are ethically sourced and produced, you can feel confident about what you put into your mouth. You can use your wallet to make a real-world impact with each meal and day of the week you choose to eat mindfully.