Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 20 - La Journée Sans Viande

This is a pretty good story from the Miami Herald about the March 20 Meatout day organized by F.A.R.M. (Farm Animal Rights Movement)). It includes a nice quick summary of all the reasons that vegetarianism makes sense.


How can you stretch your dollars and prop up your spirits? The folks at FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) have the answer: ``Change Your Diet, Change the World.''

Get ready to celebrate, save money, show compassion and affect global change all in one go -- Friday marks the 25th annual Great American Meatout.

In 1985, the national nonprofit FARM set aside March 20 to promote animal compassion and veggie ways. Since then, countless Americans have celebrated spring by going meatless. The Meatout is now an annual event in 20 nations including France, where it's La Journée Sans Viande (The Day Without Meat -- everything sounds better in French).

Being vegetarian is kind to animals -- and that includes you. According to the American Dietetic Association, a meatless diet lowers risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.

Being vegetarian is kind to your palate, too. It's about abundance, not deprivation. There's no hardship in eating whole wheat pasta with vegetables, lemon and mint (see recipe). Chocolate is vegetarian. So is champagne.

Being vegetarian is kind to the planet as well. According to Environmental Defense, just one meatless meal per week per person would save as much carbon dioxide as taking half a million cars off the road.

Finally, being vegetarian is kind to your wallet. Vegetarian sources of protein -- dried beans, nuts, tofu, even cheese -- are way cheaper than their animal equivalents.

If those aren't reasons, go meatless for the next generation. Ohio State University reports that despite all the news about skyrocketing childhood obesity and the importance of eating produce for health, kids don't get their recommended daily dose of veggies. Show 'em how it's done.
--- Ellen Kanner of the Miami Herald