Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit campaign which aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of animal agriculture and industrial fishing.

The campaign encourages people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one plant-based day each week.

Frequently asked questions

Here you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that the campaign receives.

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How did Meat Free Monday start?

Going meat free one day a week is not a new concept … In the USA during World Wars 1 and 2, ‘Meatless Tuesday’ and ‘Wheatless Wednesday’ were introduced to encourage families to reduce their consumption of key foods and help the war effort. The idea was revived in 2003 by former ad man turned health advocate Sid Lerner who, in association with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, introduced Meatless Monday as a public health campaign. The health benefits of skipping meat for one day a week were promoted in Australia too, but it was the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2006 Livestock’s Long Shadow report that began to open people’s eyes to the environmental impact of meat and dairy, and sparked the growth of a global movement.

How is the McCartney family involved?

The McCartney family has a long history of interest in sustainable food – from Paul’s organic spelt farm to the Linda McCartney vegetarian food range – but it was the UN’s 2006 report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, which really drew Paul’s attention to the importance of making more environmentally and socially conscious food choices. He and his daughters, Mary and Stella, launched the Meat Free Monday campaign in 2009.

Where is Meat Free Monday happening?

From Belgium (Donderdag Veggiedag) to Brazil (Segunda Sem Carne), Hungary (Húsmentes Hétfő) to Hong Kong (Green Monday), individuals, schools, hospitals, businesses and restaurants all around the world are experiencing how easy and enjoyable it is to skip meat for at least one day a week – for their health and the health of the planet. For more information, check out our global map.

Why Monday?

By reducing your consumption of animal products – any day or days of the week – you can help slow climate change, protect the environment and live a healthier life. The campaign focuses around Mondays because this is often when people set positive intentions and get ‘back on track’ with a fresh start to the week. As Paul McCartney said: “A lot of people go to the gym on a Monday after a big weekend. With Meat Free Monday, it’s a bit like going to the gym, but with the added advantage of protecting the planet.”

Is one day a week really enough?

Overwhelming scientific evidence points to the fact that we need to shift towards predominantly plant-based diets to help combat climate change. Meat Free Monday makes a positive difference and it’s a great start. Overall, the fewer animal products we eat, the better. Why not try out our impact calculator and work out the tangible impact of your meat free days?  

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