Meatless Monday Movement Gains Momentum

An art display called The Diner is seen in Washington on May 29, 2010. The PETA exhibit, features famous vegetarians, such as Sir Paul McCartney and Ghandi, at the Last Supper. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn
Meatless Monday is becoming a way of life for a number of restaurants around the country, according to the New York Times and other sources.

With more than half the nation now aware of the growing phenomenon, according to FGI research, the nonprofit initiative has begun to gain traction within individual restaurant communities. The Times reports that advocates in Aspen, Colorado, have succeeded in getting a plurality of restaurants there to make the switch to Meatless Mondays.

According to MeatlessMonday.com, the effort grew out of the Monday Campaigns in association with the Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health. Its stated goal is to help consumers reduce their meat consumption by 15% for the benefit of their own health and the health of the environment. Meat production and transportation has been identified as a significant contributor to global warming due to the energy-intensive methods used for both.

“Presidents Wilson, Truman and Roosevelt galvanized the nation with voluntary meatless days during both world wars,” the website says. “Our intention is to revitalize this American tradition.”

In places like Aspen, not everyone is welcoming the new initiative. A city council there rejected a municipal resolution to publicly sanction Meatless Mondays, and some restaurant owners fear alienating their more carnivorous customers.

“It’s not government’s role, or municipal government’s role, to be talking about personal choice,” said Torre, an Aspen City Council member. “But is it appropriate to pass a resolution on behalf of Aspen?” he said. “That’s a lengthier conversation.”

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