Start Meatless Monday in Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County, CA, USA

Follow the example of San Francisco and Los Angeles and start a Meatless Monday campaign for the environment, health, and a boost of business for local restaurants! Restaurants have reported that their profits have increased since they started participating in Meatless Monday because Monday is typically a slow day and it brings in more business, and vegetarian dishes have a higher profit margin! Plus, even one day a week meat-free has statistically significant effects on health and the environment! The Meatless Monday website provides promotional materials for restaurants and cities, recipes, articles, and more.

From the Meatless Monday website:

Why Meatless?

Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.

Read about these benefits below. But keep in mind that just going meatless is not enough. That’s why we give you the information you need to add healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives to your diet each week. Further, if you do eat meat on other days, we strongly recommend grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options whenever possible.

Health Benefits

      • LIMIT CANCER RISK: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.
      • REDUCE HEART DISEASE: Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%
      • LIVE LONGER: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.
      • IMPROVE YOUR DIET. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.

Environmental Benefits

      • REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.

Following is a flyer about the environmental benefits of reduced animal product consumption:

For more information, see the Meatless Monday website and the Vegetarian Meetup Group of Santa Cruz website: 

Dear Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors,

Please consider our petition to start a Meatless Monday campaign in Santa Cruz County. Here are some of the benefits:

1.  HEALTH - The US has skyrocketing rates of preventable diseases  including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. The  American Dietetic Association states that a healthy vegetarian diet  reduces the risk of all of these diseases. In fact, cutting out meat,  even if it’s just once a week, can dramatically  decrease your risk of  heart disease by up to 19% according to a Harvard  University study. The  Meatless Monday campaign was started in part by John Hopkins School of  Public Health to promote better health. The Second Harvest Foodbank  started a Passion for Produce program specifically to address these  health issues.

2.  CLIMATE CHANGE - UN and World Bank environmental experts have listed  animal product consumption as one of the leading causes of climate  change. Our county has been pursuing alternative energy solutions to  help curb climate change and the destruction of our planet. However,  most scientists believe we have less than 10 years to stop climate  change, and technology is just not moving fast enough. Diet is one of  the most promising solutions to dramatically influence climate, and  people can start immediately without a huge outlay of cash.

3.  WATER CONSERVATION - Right now, a heated debate is going on over water  use in California, specifically in our county, in regards to  desalination. But, did you know that 83% of California's water goes to  agriculture? But it's not mostly for fruits and vegetables - growing  feed for cattle is the predominant agricultural use of water in  California. Irrigated pasture and hayfields consume more water than any  other single  crop in California - more than a third of all irrigation  water. Together, alfalfa and hay and pasturage account for approximately half of all water used in the state.

4.  BUSINESS - Our county produces large amounts of vegetables and fruit,  so a Meatless Monday campaign would help to promote more consumption  from local farms. Monday is typically a slow day for restaurants.  Restaurants have discovered that having Meatless Monday specials brings  in more business on that day, with a higher profit margin, because  meatless meals are less expensive to prepare. A Meatless Monday  promotion could attract health-conscious tourists and Silicon Valley  diners. It also provides valuable PR for our county. Vegetarianism is on  rise in the US, and meat consumption is declining, so consumers are  searching for restaurants and communities that can support healthier  lifestyles.

5. PROGRESSIVENESS - Both San Francisco  and Los Angeles have adopted Meatless Monday campaigns. Santa Cruz  County will show their progressive environmental and health focus by  doing so as well, and gain recognition and publicity on a popular  worldwide website. As you can see from the petition, it has attracted both local and international signers.


Cheryl Potter

Organizaer, Vegetarian Meetup Group of Santa Cruz

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