Greening our Mondays

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No one likes a blue Monday – instead Green Monday South Africa suggests making it GREEN. Green Monday is a new campaign that has just been launched and is already garnering a lot of support from organisations, restaurants and even celebrities.

SAFCEI is also behind this initiative, which is promoting sustainable living and animal welfare through this campaign. Green Monday promotes cutting out all animal products for one day of the week and eating plant-based foods for that day instead.

Bovines As consumers we can change the system in a positive way.

But more than that, it wants to encourage everyone to start thinking about the impact factory farming has, not only on animal welfare, but the environment on the whole. The meat and eggs we consume largely come from crowded factory farms where water use and water pollution is high, not to mention the land use and the resulting green-house gas emissions.

Switching to a diet that includes much more plant-based foods will reduce the footprints we leave behind. South Africa, being a country that is already water-strapped, would also really benefit from us cutting back on our meat consumption – producing 1kg of chicken requires double the amount of water that is required to produce 1kg of cereals.

And as Tozie Zokufa, Humane Society International (HSI) spokesperson for Green Monday South Africa, points out, eating more plant-based foods is good for your health too: “Studies show that individuals who eat a balanced plant-based diet, on average, have lower body weights, decreased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.”

The Green Monday website provides many recipes that you can try out on a Monday. Truth Coffee Roasting in Cape Town is also on board and offers a vegan menu on a Monday. SAFCEI had the privilege of trying the menu and we can only encourage you to do so as well if you find yourself there – everything is delicious!

The more we as consumers ask for and enjoy these options, the more we can change the system in which the high demand for meat and eggs is hurting our fellow beings and damaging the environment.

Green Monday really speaks to eating consciously; something which all our faiths give emphasis to. When we bless our food, we are thanking our Creator for providing us with nourishment, but it is not real nourishment if it comes at the expense of animals and the environment. Green Mondays presents an opportunity to once again be conscious of Creation and consider what our ethics say about our role in the web of life.

Whilst this campaign is located in South Africa, it is in no way limited to it. You can join Green Monday from anywhere; it is a personal commitment that we can all take and encourage others to take.

What else can you do?

  • Encourage retailers, schools, restaurants & hotels to increase their offerings of delicious, healthy plant-based foods.
  • Further the conversation on animal welfare, sustainability, and equity within the food system. Ask your food retailer if their eggs are sourced from cage-free or free range farms and if their pork is sourced from crate-free suppliers.
  • Support small, emerging farmers practicing more animal welfare friendly and sustainable agriculture.
  • Sign the petition which calls on Ban Ki Moon and the leaders of COP21 to address the issue of animal agriculture’s impact on climate change.
  • Become a partner - contact Green Monday or Tozie Zokufa to see how you can introduce this initiative to your community or organisation

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