With most of us self isolating (and even with restrictions lifting), we’re likely be cooking at home for some time yet. Making it the perfect time to cook up a veggie storm! If already treading a cruelty free path, chances are many of your friends and family are not, so say hello to No Meat May…
Now in its eighth year, No Meat May is a global initiative challenging people to ditch meat for the month of May. The non-profit movement attracted a record number of participants of more than 10,000 people across 50 countries last year. Once again, people across the globe are invited to sign up for No Meat May (it’s free) and commit to giving up meat, or all animal products (including dairy and eggs), from their diets for 31 days. And there’s four good reasons: improving personal health, ending factory farming, feeding the world and saving the planet.
What about COVID-19?
Of this years No Meat May challenge and the current COVID-19 pandemic, co-founder Ryan Alexander said:
“We debated whether to go ahead with No Meat May this year given the global health crisis, but with more people cooking at home than ever before, and perhaps looking for something to keep them inspired, occupied and healthy while in lock-down, maybe there was no better time for No Meat May to go ahead.”
While plant-based eating is on the rise around the world, (vegan numbers are up 600% in the USA, 350% in the UK, and the global vegan food market is predicted to be worth $24.3 Billion USD by 2026 ) it is still a foreign concept to many, says Ryan.
“This is an incredibly unusual time for everyone, and aside from our typical veg-curious mob that might choose to give No Meat May a try, even hard and fast meat eaters might be looking for some guidance on how to cook plant based meals, with the availability and affordability of meat proving a challenge.
“We provide free, expert guidance on cooking delicious plant based meals, as well as dietary advice to stay extra strong and healthy during this period of quarantine and social distancing. We have a huge range of resources and a huge, friendly online community that awaits on social media,” he said.
Did we mention the food?
In 2020, No Meat May has moved all activities and community engagement online and is promising to keep things extra nutritious and delicious. “We will be providing a continuous stream of plant-based recipes, cooking demonstrations and live feeds from a range of top chefs and dietitians (with a few celebrity cameos likely along the way), to help those cooking at home to eat well and feed their families with healthy, affordable, immunity-boosting meals during this global lock down period,” said fellow co-founder, Guy James Whitworth.
“It’s a great way to turn a situation that feels out of your control into something more empowering, a challenge to try a new healthy and nutritious way of eating and living for a month, or maybe more, during lockdown. We are paying extra attention to the interactive online community so participants can still feel inspired and connected,” he said.
Creating long lasting change
By vowing to go plant-powered for just one month, each No Meat May participant will save multiple grateful animals, avoid 7kgs of meat consumption and prevent approximately 134 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
The No Meat May effect tends to continue long after the month of May is over, with 94 percent of past participants going on to reduce their meat consumption and one third reporting a life changing experience.
“We want people to claim this period as a time to experiment by choice – to use plant-based food as an opportunity to build better eating habits and make decisions around food based on compassion and awareness,” said Guy. “It’s a no-strings attached opportunity to make a tangible difference to your health, the wellbeing of animals and the environment.
Once you start looking into it, the drivers for switching to a more plant based diet are hard to argue with,” he said.
1) Visit the No Meat May website and sign up 2) Challenge your friends and colleagues to join you and/or share your journey by sharing on social media 3) Download recipes and nutritional advice from the site to get you inspired 4) Take photos of what’s on your plate for the month, hashtag #NoMeatMay and tag others to get involved OR if you’re feeling fruity, take a #vegelfie selfie – that’s right, a selfie of you “vegging out” with your favourite vegetable.
Prior to launching The Vegan Company, Melissa co-founded Meat Free Week, an award-winning, global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the impact excessive meat consumption and production has on animals, the environment and human health.
Having traded life in the city and a successful career in magazine publishing for the serenity of coastal-country living, Melissa now lives in northern NSW, Australia with her husband, two daughters and a colourful menagerie.
Melissa believes there’s a huge shift occurring in the way the world views and treats animals and is excited to be a part of the global vegan movement driving this.
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