"If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is stop eating meat." Sir Paul McCartney
March 20, 2012 is the Great American Meatout. What is Meatout? Meatout is the world's largest grassroots diet education campaign.
At Pink Goes Green, we have advocated eating green to help the environment since our launch in 2008. Many leading environmental organizations, including the National Audubon Society, the WorldWatch Institute, the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, have recognized that raising animals for food damages the environment more than just about anything else that we do. Whether it's the overuse of resources, unchecked water or air pollution, or soil erosion, raising animals for food is wreaking havoc on the Earth. (Read how one Delta Zeta, Mary Vincent, Northern Kentucky - Kappa Beta 1986, has begun the Healthy Vegan Snack Box Campaign through her green business, Gratitude Gourmet, to help families in need. To donate, visit the campaign here.)
If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save:
- 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months;
- 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year;
- 70 million gallons of gas - enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare;
- 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware;
- 33 tons of antibiotics.
If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would prevent:
- Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France;
- 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages;
- 4.5 million tons of animal excrement;
- Almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant.
On (or around) March 20, thousands of caring people in all 50 U.S. states and two dozen other countries encourage their friends, families, and communities to "kick the meat habit" and explore a wholesome, compassionate diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
The 2012 goal of Meatout is to distribute free vegan food samples to 30,000 people! Meatout is an international observance helping individuals evolve to a wholesome, compassionate diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains. The purpose is to expose the public to the joys and benefits of a plant-based diet, while promoting the availability and selection alternatives to meat and dairy in mainstream grocery stores, restaurants, and catering operations.
Meatout has grown explosively since its inception in 1985 to become the world's largest annual grassroots diet education campaign. Thousands of caring people in all 50 U.S. states and a host of other countries welcome spring with colorful educational events. These range from simple information tables, exhibits, and cooking demonstrations to elaborate receptions and festivals. Visitors are asked to "kick the meat habit" on March 20 (first day of spring) and explore a wholesome, nonviolent diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Several mainstream health advocacy organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and the American Heart Association, have since launched their own campaigns to promote consumption of plant-based foods.
Meatout reflects national trends:
- Mainstream health advocacy organizations and the official government publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" tout plant-based foods.
- Over 30 million Americans have explored a meat-free diet.
- One in five teens thinks vegetarianism is "cool."
- National beef and veal consumption have dropped by 25 and 70%, respectively.
- Major manufacturers and retailers are marketing meat-free and dairy-free meals.
- Several national fast food chains are offering veggie burgers and several major baseball parks are selling veggie dogs.
Meatout was launched in 1985 and is coordinated each year by FARM, a national nonprofit, public interest organization. Headquartered in the nation's capital, FARM advocates plant-based (vegan) diets to save animals, protect the environment, and improve health.
Think it's difficult to go veg? Try these great resources, which provide free starter kits, eating out guides, delicious recipes, a vegan baking cheat sheet and more. Don't forget to eat green on March 20!
Go Veg! Starter Kit