I have recently started posting more and more about Green Monday, so I thought it would be a great idea to explain what this initiative is and how you can be involved. I caught up with Leozette, Social Media & Community Relations Coordinator, who was able to shed some light on the Green Monday initiative. Every Monday, I will be posting a new vegan dish, as inspiration to make your pledge to Green Monday. There are so many plant-based dishes to choose from, going green one day of the week is no hassle at all. Now let’s find out more…
What is Green Monday?
Green Monday is an easy, flexible and fun way to make a positive difference. Eat and serve plant-based meals (no eggs, no meat, no dairy) on Mondays to help animals, improve health, and lessen impact on the environment. Other green activities are also encouraged, such as cutting down on food waste. It’s about making a difference now, one green meal at a time, so that we foster a great life for future generations who will be impacted by the consumption choices we make today.
Why is Green Monday important?
The animal agriculture sector is a key contributor to climate change, water pollution and water use. Cutting down on meat, egg, and dairy consumption can mitigate our environmental impact, whilst safeguarding our health. Studies have found that those who eat plant-based diets tend to have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Adopting Green Monday also helps animals. More than 1 billion land animals were raised for food in South Africa in 2013 alone. More than 95 percent of egg-laying hens and more than 50 percent of pregnant sows spend nearly their entire lives in cages or crates, where they are unable to exercise, fully extend their limbs, or engage in many other important natural behaviours. Green Monday also addresses some of the world’s most serious environmental problems. The animal agriculture sector makes up 29 percent of global agriculture water requirements. An average of 4,323 litres of water is required to produce 1kg of chicken, whereas less than half of that is needed to produce 1kg of cereals. By 2023, it is projected that 33 percent of the world’s population will live in areas of absolute water scarcity, including South Africa.
Why launch Green Monday in South Africa?
The majority of growth in animal agriculture, particularly industrial animal agriculture, is already taking place in developing and emerging economies, posing significant threats to the environment, human health, and the welfare of all animals. Sub-Saharan Africa has also begun to rapidly industrialize its food and farming sector, but there is still time to change course and move in a more sustainable direction.
Who can go green and eat green on Green Monday?
Anyone and everyone – including individuals, governments, private companies and groups working on food and sustainability issues.
What is the Green Monday vision for the South African marketplace?
To help create a marketplace that provides food that enchants the palette, promotes better policies for animal welfare, and lessens our environmental footprint. Green Monday is a perfect solution to those three goals. By creating a more sustainable, animal-friendly, and waste-friendly marketplace, businesses will prosper, public health will improve, and there will be a decrease in the number of animals suffering on factory farms.
What does it mean when I pledge to Green Monday?
It means making socially and environmentally responsible choices, particularly by eating plant based and decreasing consumption of eggs, meat, and dairy products. When South Africans sign on to Green Monday, they make a statement about the kind of world they want to live in and leave to their children. That world is much healthier, cleaner, and more humane.
What are benefits of eating plant based?
- Plant-based foods are delicious and easy to prepare.
- It can be more cost effective than meat-centric meals.
- You could improve the health and future of the earth one meal at a time. By switching to plant based foods on Green Monday you’ll actually be reducing your carbon footprint! That’s because plant-based foods tend to use less water, require less land for production, and emit fewer greenhouse gases than the production of animal products.
- Plant-based diets are healthy.
How do I eat green if I can’t cook?
You can order in or eat out while going green too. Indian, Thai and Mexican spots are usually very good at making delicious plant based dishes.
How can I help?
Make a difference:
- Eating green and taking the Green Monday pledge today! Replace meat, eggs and milk with plant-based meals at least once a week.
- Learn more about Green eating at greenmondaysa.co.za, and spread the word by giving talks and distributing information at your school, office, place of worship, or other places in your community.
- Encourage retailers, schools, restaurants and hotels to increase their offerings of delicious, healthy plant-based foods.
- If your institution, organization, or company would like to help, contact Green Monday to find out how to become a partner! We’ll send you lots of tips on ways to promote Green eating and how to implement Green Monday at your organization.
@GreenMondaySA on Twitter and Instagram
Who has already signed on as Green Monday partners?
Vegilicious, Violife, VFoods, Nobleway Foods, Phat Fox Frozen Fun, Quorn SA, Green Machine, Ubuntu, Nooka, Afrikan Vegan on a Budget, Plant the Seed Education, Earth to Plate, Ginger & Lime, Eco Maties, Wellness Warehouse, Green Road, Green is not a Colour, Re:Fresh, Abalimi Bezekhaya, The yummy Vegan, Monks Chinese Food, VeGen, Earth Expo, Life is a Garden, Baboon Matters, Beauty Without Cruelty, Fry’s Family Foods, Four Paws, Life Retreat, GRASS Consumer Action, Greenpeace Africa, Greyton Transition Town, Hungry Herbivore, Plant Restaurant, SAFCEI and Soil For Life.
Additional partners are invited to contact us and further the conversation on animal welfare, sustainability, and equity within the food system.
Which celebrities and chefs have endorsed Green Monday?
Chef Deena Naidoo (SA 1st MasterChef, Exec Chef & Owner of Aarya Resturant), Benedikt Sebastian (Model, actor, singer), Esosa E (Model, Health Expert, Author), Carla Viktor (Miss Earth SA 2015) Lisa Raleigh (wellness expert), Anji Woodley (actress), Armand du Plessis (Mr. South Africa), Braam Malherbe (TV personality and activist), Chef Kamini Pather (MasterChef SA Winner), Natalie Becker (green living advocate), Nicole Flint (Miss. South Africa 2009), Stevie French (actress), Tamerin Jardine (radio personality), Jodi C aka Veggie Babe (vegan athlete), Amy Anstey (vegan blogger), Alex Poltera (chef), Vanessa Haywood (actress), Shannon Elizabeth (Hollywood actress ) and Renae Smith (MasterChef Australia).
How is Green Monday different to Meatless or Meatfree Monday?
Eating Meat-free on Mondays – choosing plant-based foods over animal source foods – is a key component of Green Monday. In fact, we work very closely with a number of groups around the world, including in South Africa on Meatless Mondays or Meat-free Mondays, and many of HSI’s own campaigns, particularly in the Americas are called Meatless Monday. But in many places, including in South Africa, there is already a growing green consciousness and an active green movement. If you look at the work of Green Monday partners in South Africa – Greenpeace, SAFECI and others – you can see that some exciting conversations are already taking place about sustainability and conscious consumption. Green Monday allows us to merge and broaden these conversations — allowing people to link a number of habits that are good for their health, animals, and the planet. And while going green encompasses a much broader range of practices than just meat reduction, plant-based eating is critical to being green. According to the food and agriculture organization, animal agriculture is one of the most significant contributors to our most serious environmental problems – from water scarcity to climate change.
How is eating green healthy?
Nutrition experts around the world advocate eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to improve overall health and prevent disease. Worldwide, an increasing number of people suffer from obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Many of these chronic diseases can be prevented, treated, and in some cases reversed with a plant-based diet. Experts say that three percent of early deaths could be prevented each year if people ate under 20 grams of processed meat a day.
How does this relate to the South African market?
In South Africa, nearly 30 percent of men and 56 percent of women are either overweight or obese. Many developing countries with high levels of hunger and malnutrition now simultaneously bear the burden of an obesity-related public health crisis, including South Africa.
When did Green Monday South Africa officially launch?
The official launch of Green Monday in South Africa took place at an exclusive event in Cape Town, on Monday, 12 October 2015 at 6pm.
For more information, please contact:
Social Media & Community Relations Coordinator, Farm Animals
t +27 (0) 71 360 1104
Have a look at all my vegan recipes here.