City of Vancouver proclaims country’s first Meatless Monday

nomeatVancouver has become the first city in Canada to embrace “Meatless Monday,” encouraging residents to forego meat for one day a week for the sake of the planet and their health.

The city declared June 10 the first Meatless Monday following a recommendation from the Vancouver Food Policy Council, an advisory group to city council that’s made up of volunteer farmers, food distributors, nutritionists, and activists.

The food policy council says the idea of Meatless Mondays is to promote a more moderate intake of meat, both to “protect global resources and contribute to planetary health,” as well as to reap the health benefits.

The group says animal agriculture is an inherently inefficient food production method and notes that according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the production of meat generates one-fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions — more than all forms of transportation combined.

The food policy council also says that reducing meat intake can lessen one’s risk for a number of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer. The Canadian Cancer Society also recommends lowering the intake of meat, noting that a diet high in red and processed meat has been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer and other cancers.

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