Meat Free Monday is not about vegetarianism
I posted already on Paul McCartney's support of Meat Free Monday. Given the undeniable links between meat and climate change, the former Beatle's calls for people to give up eating meat just one day a week seem eminently reasonable. However, I can't help but wonder if this part-time vegetarianism is a sneak attack by the animal rights lobby - hoping that Monday-night tofu is a gateway drug for a more permanent move away from animal protein. Not so, says Stella McCartney at least - she's actually trying to distance herself from the vegetarian debate on this one. In an article in the UK's Telegraph newspaper, the McCartney family talks about Meat Free Monday - and they also open up about their home life, their high profile vegetarianism, and Linda McCartney's legacy. Despite standing by their veggie principles, this new campaign is not, they insist, a trojan horse effort to convert us all. Quoting a UN report that claims livestock production is responsible for a whopping 18 percent of global climate emissions, the McCartneys claim that even giving up meat for one day would have more impact than cutting out your car use one day a week.
As Stella puts it, "It’s ok to just give up meat for one day, it doesn’t make you a vegetarian if you hate vegetarians, it doesn’t make you a cranky, hemp wearing pot smoker. It’s alright, it’s allowed - it doesn’t make you a kind of the person you don’t want to be. It just means you are doing something positive."
Now don't get me wrong - I think a much larger shift toward vegetarianism would be a great thing. TreeHugger founder Graham Hill, for example - is urging folks to give up meat for the entire working week, becoming in effect weekday vegetarians. But I think the McCartney's are on to something - a reasonable approach like this is likely to win over many more converts than a celebrity preach-fest about the need to go 100% veggie. Here's Stella again in the Telegraph:
If everyone gave it up on a Monday it would be more effective than everyone stopping driving their car on a Monday. We are not perfect. It’s so important to get that across because it’s like oh, those bloody Maccas, talking again about not killing cows! It is boring. But the reality is, I like to think I am trying to do my little bit. I will turn off a light when I leave a room; I will turn off a socket if I don’t want to be using the socket. And those are tiny little things.
Even if we all simply ate less meat at each sitting, we'd be doing our part. But good on the McCartney's for sticking to their veggie ways, and for encouraging others to do what they can without resorting to dogma or absolutes.