I want to take some time to talk about Meat-Free Monday.
When I first heard about it through a vegan friend, my thoughts were pretty mundane. What was the point in promoting something that felt so half-assed? If people only go meat free for one day a week – how does that really make a difference?
See, it’s a struggle to be optimistic – and with Borderline as my witness! (And believe me, I’m an all or nothing kinda girl) I have to say it took me a lot of introspection to really get behind the idea.
It’s pretty simple when you think about it, and once you start to run some figures it’s surprising how much impact something that seemed so insignificant could make.
When I got some time alone to ponder the ‘point’ of such a venture, my first thoughts drifted to my Dad and his girlfriend. The both of them have been terribly supportive of my decision to go vegan, even if my Dad does very often use phrases like ‘can’t I tempt you to have a malteaser’ and ‘do you want milk in your coffee’, but I think – like so many things it’s down to habit.
Anyway, I thought about them. I thought about what they would have for dinner first, and I realised that all this time I’d only been thinking about that one meal of the day. My Dad’s a traditional kind of guy, and anything with vegetables, potatoes and meat at the end of a busy day sounds perfect to him. What if he found a meat-free alternative that he liked the taste of and swapped out his meat for that?
I’ll tell you what it means. It means that for one night he doesn’t need to buy that ASDA (Tesco/Sainsbury/Morrison/Whatever) £3 pack of pork chops.
Okay. Wow. Two people. Four chops. Whoop de doo.
In 2011 the estimated population of Lincoln was 130,000. Assuming that each person would have just ONE pork chop for their dinner on a Monday night, that’s 130,000 pork chops that Lincolnites don’t eat.
According to the internet, one pig will provide 23 pork chops (and a host of other cuts, but for the point I’m making we’re sticking to chops. Deal with it.)
That means, (with some help from a calculator) that in Lincoln alone approximately 5,652 pigs would not be required.
I’m already in a statistics kind of mood, so lets ramp up the numbers a few more steps, shall we?
A quick internet search suggests that in 2015 the population of the UK sat at just over 64million people.
ASSUMING, that 64,000,000 people ate ONE pork chop on a Monday night – the approximate number of pigs needed to provide those chops would be a whopping. 2,782,608 pigs.
Okay, I can already hear the critics, but hear me out.
If you told me that in a YEAR we, as a country were culling this many pigs just so that we could get our pork fix I would have difficulty coming to terms with this as a truth.
Suddenly, the notion of Meat-Free Monday has taken on a far more important meaning to me, and I’ll be doing my best to try and encourage my friends, family and acquaintances to consider taking one day off from meat in a week and maybe, just maybe people will be begin to see just how much difference this tiny sacrifice can make.
http://www.meatfreemondays.co.uk/ – Get some great Meat-Free ideas for next Monday.
http://www.animalaid.org.uk – Find out more about adopting a cruelty-free lifestyle.