Meatless Monday Around the World
The new year is a great time to make personal changes as well as help your family and community make positive changes. Bringing Meatless Monday to your community is a simple way to make a difference. Think of it as a weekly resolution or a Happy New Week.
Since its start in 2003, the Meatless Monday movement has taken root in over 40 countries and has been adapted to 22 different languages—and that’s just the beginning.
Variations on the Meatless Monday concept—cutting out meat, one day a week—continue to sprout up around the globe. Below are just a few examples of how organizations and individuals around the world are getting their communities to go Meatless Monday.
Chile and Colombia (Vegetarianos Hoy):
This international organization works in Latin America to promote plant-based eating. They work in several countries in South America to bring Meatless Monday to restaurants, corporate foodservice, government institutions, and schools.
In Chile, their Lunes Sin Carne Instagram page has over 94,000 followers, and they focus on bringing Meatless Monday to restaurants.
In Colombia, food brands and restaurants, including Baby Shake, Hasta la Madre MX and Esnatos, offer Meatless Monday specials to customers looking for more plant-based options. Santa Angela de Merici, a school in Bogota City, is continuing to offer Meatless Monday through the next school year to all 300 students.
Bhutan (Jangsem Monday):
Bhutan has established their own version of Meatless Monday—Jangsem Monday. Quite impressively, Jangsem Monday has over 60 schools and dozens of restaurants and cafes on board. There are coordinators in all 20 states of Bhutan, tasked with providing information and resources to people, restaurants, and organizations. The organization is also working on a 2021 calendar featuring 12 local celebrities who support Jangsem Monday and a cookbook and cooking show.
Brazil (Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira):
Sociedade Vegertariana Brasileira promotes Meatless Monday in Brazil. The organization offers over 81 million plant-based meals to public departments and companies.
In 2020, the organization focused on the digital space, due to constraints of the pandemic. They were able to bring in more celebrities and digital influencers to promote the campaign, including TV host, Xuxa Meneghel, who has 11.5 million followers, and Paolla Oliveira, who has 29.2 million followers.
They also calculated the impact of their Meatless Monday campaign over 10 years (from 2009-2019), during which over 380 million Meatless Monday meals were served to over 3.7 million people, saving 1.8 billion kg of grain, 2.1 billion liters of water, 5.4 billion square meters of land, and 2.5 billion kg of CO2.
For 2021, they are focusing on training cooks and community leaders to make dishes where meat is replaced with soy (the least expensive form of plant-based protein) in low income communities.
Laos (VegVoyages Foundation):
VegVoyages implemented a Meatless Monday program at Solidarity Canteen, which was set up in Luang Prabang to provide meals to unemployed workers impacted by COVID. They are also planning the first ever Himalayas Vegan Festival with local vegan activists in Nepal and Bhutan, which will take place in 2022 and be free and open to the public.
Indonesia (Ottimmo Master Gourmet Academy):
This culinary school in Indonesia has 300 trained chefs and 50 staff members who are implementing Meatless Monday, at the school, as well as at a soup kitchen that feeds low-income families in the area. They will also promote Meatless Monday at their restaurant and include it in the syllabus for students.
The Academy plans to do more to promote Meatless Monday in 2021 by connecting with organizations promoting plant-based eating around the world.Do these examples inspire you? If so, it’s easy to bring Meatless Monday to your community, in the US, or in any country around the world. Help make a difference in your local community by joining a worldwide movement committed to making change for our personal health and the health of the planet. Check out our resources and find us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!