The Move To Go Meatless

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

There's hybrid cars, and solar panel roofs.

But recently, a new trend to help the environment is picking up steam.

It's called Meatless Mondays, and while improving the environment is one reason to participate in this trend, it's the health benefits that has some breaking up with beef.

"Some people, especially midwest, we're thinking meat and potatoes, you know and so this is sort of a different slant on it," said registered licensed dietician Diane Greenleaf-Kisner.

One local church in Wichita has picked up on the trend. First Unitarian Universalist Church has monthly Meatless Monday potlucks.

"We're designed as herbivores, our physiology is an herbivore, we have the capacity and the capability of digesting meat, but it's not doing us any good, we're killing ourselves with our diets," said ethical eating group leader, Dianne Waltner.

Greenleaf-Kisner recommends two meatless meals a week to her clients.

"In turn that can help to reduce your cholesterol, maybe decrease your risk for cancer, and help make everybody a bit more healthy," she said.

But not everyone is on board with the move to go meatless.

"It doesn't make any more sense to me than a fruitless Friday," said Frank Harper, Kansas Livestock Association President .

Harper says that he thinks meat should not be limited in diets.

"at times there is an agenda of some kind from some groups of individuals to try to limit those choices, and I think Meatless Monday might be an attempt in some ways to do that," he said.

Part of the push behind the move is environmental.

Proponents say that if everyone went vegetarian for just one day, the U.S. would conserve gas, water, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

But Harper says that the livestock industry has improved the amount of production per animal by thirty percent, has reduced the amount of water per animal, and has cut back on the amount of feed per animal.

"The production practices in the U.S. have really truly got nothing but better," Harper said.

First Unitarian Universalist Church holds their Meatless Mondays potlucks on the second Monday of every month, which are open to the public.

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