Carmen Iben, Global Animal

After the UK’s Telegraph recently reported that China now consumes twice as much meat as America, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has decided to promote Meatless Monday in an effort to protect the environment, animals, and people.

To participate in this international campaign, people should take just one day of the week off from eating meat.

The average meat-eater consumes approximately 100 animals every year; by forgoing meat, you  save that many. Photo Credit: AP’s Amy Sancetta, Science Progress

According to the HSUS, if every American cut meat out of their diet every Monday, an estimated 1.4 billion animals would be saved from factory farming.

In addition, going meat-free at least once a week will be a tremendous help to the environment. The United Nations reports that animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to global warming and pollution.

This worldwide effort to decrease meat consumption is exceedingly important in China, where they are the biggest consumers of both domestic animal products and wildlife.

The HSUS notes that as the demand for meat increases, the relationship between farmers and animals decreases. A higher demand for meat will ultimately eliminate farmers from the equation, causing animals to endure more extreme methods of confinement, while resulting in job loss during an already difficult economic period. Thus, slowing down meat consumption will not only improve the condition of animals, but people as well.

While Americans are eating significantly less meat than they were just five years ago, global-wide efforts are necessary to save the environment and reduce the poor conditions of factory farming.

This being said, consider these 15 powerful reasons to go vegetarian, or better still, vegan.

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” -Anita Koddick