Meat Free Monday Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary with #MFMCountMeIn Campaign
Meat Free Monday, launched by Sir Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month. Meat Free Monday is a global Meatless Monday partner mutually aligned on our mission to raise awareness and action around the benefits of meat consumption reduction. Meat Free Monday partners with celebrities, schools, businesses, restaurants and country organizers to encourage people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one meat free day each week.
This month, Meat Free Monday is celebrating a decade of action and advocacy with a new campaign encouraging people to join the global meat reduction movement. They are launching #MFMCountMeIn anniversary campaign which aims to bring celebrities, businesses, not-for-profit groups, educational institutions and individual supporters together, to celebrate what people are doing on the meat free front and inspire even more people to get on board.
“We congratulate Meat Free Monday on their 10th Anniversary! We at Meatless Monday are thrilled to work with a great global partner in our joint mission to help reduce meat consumption around the world. With our combined strength, we can effectively raise awareness that cutting meat one day week can benefit personal health and the health of the planet. We look forward to the next decade of partnership and growth with Meat Free Monday.”
Sid Lerner, Founder & Chairman, Meatless Monday
Q&A with Meat Free Monday Team
How did Meat Free Monday first begin?
The McCartney family has a long history of personal interest in sustainable food – from the Linda McCartney vegetarian food range to Paul’s organic farm – but it was reading a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Livestock’s Long Shadow, that crystallized in Paul, Mary and Stella’s minds the global importance of making planet-friendly food choices. According to Livestock’s Long Shadow, 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.’ On the basis of this alarming fact the family launched the Meat Free Monday campaign in June 2009.
What is the goal of Meat Free Monday, who should participate, and why?
Meat Free Monday aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of animal agriculture and industrial fishing. The campaign encourages individuals, families, businesses, not-for-profit groups and educational institutions to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one plant-based day each week.
What trends or changes have you seen in the past 10 years regarding awareness and interest in meat reduction?
Shopping habits have changed dramatically in the last ten years, with consumer demand leading to many new plant-based products now being available in shops and restaurants. According to research company Kantar World panel, 150 million more meat free dinners were sold in January 2019 compared with the same month the previous year. 21% of UK households have cut down on their meat intake, a shift due in part to campaigns like Meat Free Monday.
What programs and campaigns is Meat Free Monday working on locally or globally?
Meat Free Monday’s aim is to raise awareness and inspire people to make a change in their diets from an easily achievable starting point. Over 3,000 UK schools currently participate in Meat Free Monday, as do local education authorities such as Edinburgh and Trafford. A key project is working with young people and expanding the campaign’s schools programme.
Could you share Sir Paul McCartney’s favorite meat-free recipe?
One of Paul’s favorite recipes is Super Vegetable Salad, which is featured in The Meat Free Monday Cookbook. Please see recipe here.
A quick history of Meatless Monday
Meatless Monday is global movement active in over 40 countries and regions and continues to grow. Meatless Monday was founded in 2003 by Sid Lerner in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2009, Ghent, Belgium, became the first non-U.S. city to go meatless. The same year, Paul McCartney introduced the U.K. to Meat Free Mondays, which has also continued to grow internationally.