Opinion: Meatless Monday

About a year and a half ago until my dad came home with numerous health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and abnormally swelling calves.

Our doctor strongly recommended a healthier diet, making it a point to mention that he needed to cut down on his meat consumption.

My mother quickly altered the family diet to chicken only, almost forgetting about meat.

That year, she hesitantly brought the meat back during the holidays to make tamales, a tradition in many Latino families.

A recent study from the World Health Organization stated that eating processed meats such as ham, bacon and hot dogs increases one’s chances of contracting colon cancer, while consuming red meats may possibly lead to stomach cancer.

With a variety of health problems possible, we should reduce our consumption of meat by joining the Meatless Monday movement for the sake our own health and the earth’s wellbeing.

Meatless Monday was originally started in the United States during World War I, and continued into World War II, as a way to make more rations available for soldiers fighting in overseas.

The movement regained popularity in 2003 when Sid Lerner, a health advocate, brought it back as a way to raise health awareness and to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent.

The reason behind this was because one-fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions, gases that trap heat from the sun and warm the planet’s surface, worldwide are due to the raising and selling of livestock.

Meat consumption also takes part in global forest and habitat loss, freshwater depletion and pollution.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, just one quarter pound hamburger uses about 150 gallons of water.

Meat has always been a huge staple in the American diet, so much so that portions double the amount of the recommended size are often served at restaurants.

It is accurate to say that too much of anything, including meat, is not good for any human.

When there are about 55.4 million Latinos in California, the largest racial group in the state, one can expect copious amounts of Latin-oriented restaurants, where meat is a big part of almost every dish.

Eliminating meat completely from your diet is not what this movement is about.

The goal is to lower the amount of meat that humans consume.

Skip the meat on Monday to enjoy Taco Tuesday..

By participating in Meatless Monday, you can feel proud knowing that you are not only taking care of your health, but also the Earth’s.



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