“Animal agriculture is one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every scale, from local to global.” – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
The Humane Society International (HSI) recently introduced Green Monday in South Africa. The new initiative, launched to improve animal welfare, human health and environmental sustainability, aims to raise public awareness and educate consumers about the realities of animal agriculture. Consumers are encouraged to join the movement by pledging on greenmonday.co.za to replace meat, dairy and eggs with plant-based meals on Mondays. South Africa is one of the first countries where HSI has introduced the concept.
Says Tozie Zokufa, program manager for HSI South Africa, “Farm animals are often raised in crowded factory farms that pollute the environment, in addition to causing tremendous animal suffering. From land use, to water use and water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. There are few areas of the environment that aren’t affected in some way by animal agriculture. Cutting back on animal-sourced foods once a week can decrease our environmental footprint and help keep everyone healthy. Studies show that individuals who eat a balanced plant-based diet, on average, have lower body weights, decreased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.”
Benefits of eating plant-based:
1. Plant-based foods are delicious and healthy.
2. It can be more cost effective than meat-centric meals.
3. You could improve the health and future of the earth one meal at a time.
4. Plant-based foods tend to use less water, require less land for production, and emit fewer greenhouse gases than the production of animal products.
HSI and its partner organisations constitute one of the world’s largest animal-protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide.
Green Monday recipes:
Create the small change – make your first meals of the week plant-based. Visit their website, greenmonday.co.za/recipes, for a list a selection of healthy, tasty and fun recipes such as lentil burger, sweet-potato gnocchi and various delicious kiddie-meal options.