Framing the issues, proposing an action

The United Nations recently released a report showing that animal agriculture was responsible for more greenhouse gases than all methods of transportation combined. They are calling on all of us in the Western World to reduce our consumption of animal products, and I know you've been asking yourself, how can I do my part?

At the same time, the Global News story about Canada's abysmal standard of care for our millions and millions of farmed animals may have made you just throw up your hands and say, how can one person make a difference? Now you are seeing Bill Clinton on CNN telling Wolf Blitzer all about his plant-based diet and how it may save his life and maybe you don't know what to think. (Bill Clinton? Is he even still alive?)

All good questions. But most of all, you are probably saying, Mark, what could you possibly have to offer as a solution to all these burning issues? How could you understand how I feel? Well, it just so happens that I am a person who hasn't eaten any meat in 15 years without dying and I am father to the Most Beautiful Vegetarian in the World. 

I am asking you to make a change that will make you feel better about all of the above in a very concrete way. I'm asking you to cut out meat one day a week. Sir Paul McCartney is the brilliant mind who came up with this concept, called Meatless Mondays. The Toronto Vegetarian Society has posted some support materials for Canadians who are interested in this program. 

It won't be easy, because it means a change from the way you think about what to cook, what to order and most basic of all, what to eat for breakfastlunch and dinner. And change is hard for all of us. But it will also be a nice way to try out some new recipes, save some money and shake things up a bit.

But, Mark, you say, if I don't eat any meat on a Monday, won't all of the protein drain out of my body by the following morning, leaving me weak as a kitten? How will I get to work/school/the drop-in centre/my couch? Studies have shown that you'll be fine. If everybody gave this a shot, we could cut GHG emissions from animal agriculture by one seventh (384 million tonnes of CO2), save one seventh of the 60 Billion farmed animals raised annually and probably feel better to boot.

Who's up for a challenge?

If you agree to my request and commit to not eating any meat on Mondays, I will commit to posting one Young Family tested and approved vegetarian recipe every week. I will post new recipes every Saturday so people can plan their menus and shopping for Monday. I will also post any relevant information from the media, book reviews when relevant and other stuff as it occurs to me. Christina, my wife, will be helping out with posting the recipes and my daughter will occasionally chip in for the kid's point of view. Thanks for reading and best of luck making your change.