(COMPASSIONATE LIVING/VEGETARIAN DIET) No Meat May started out as a bit of a social experiment among a small group of friends in Australia, but it’s come quite a long way in the past six years. The meat-free month of compassion has since been adopted by at least 12 countries and is set to attract a record number of participants this year.

No Meat May encourages carnivores to reconsider their diets, ditch meat or all animal products (including dairy and eggs), and incorporate more plant-based meals in their lives.

While plant-based diets are linked with a lower risk of obesity and chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, the benefits also widely relate to both animal welfare and the environment.

Read on to learn more about the No Meat May challenge, and trial vegetarian living for 31 days–or longer! While you’re at it, check out these powerful reasons to go vegetarian for more inspiration. — Global Animal

Photo Credit: Serg_Velusceac via Sunshine Coast Daily

No Meat May, an Australian initiative challenging people to give meat the chop for the month of May, is set to attract a record number of participants in 2018 following its adoption across 12 countries.

Now in its sixth year, No Meat May encourages curious carnivores to ditch meat, or all animal products (including dairy and eggs), from their diets for 31 days for four good reasons:

1. Improving personal health

A plant-based diet has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. Photo credit: ML Harris/Getty Images

2. Ending factory farming 

Chicken causes more foodborne illnesses than any other meat. Photo credit: worldtruth.tv
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, if each American replaced chicken with plant-based foods for even just one meal per week, the carbon dioxide savings would be the equivalent of removing more than half a million cars from U.S. roads. Photo credit: worldtruth.tv

3. Feeding the world

By eating more plant-based foods you can drastically reduce your carbon footprint, save water, and help ensure that crop resources are fed to people, rather than livestock. Photo Credit: mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com

4. Saving the planet

A whopping 30 percent of Earth’s landmass goes to meat, dairy, and egg production.

Earth Day began in 1970, and since then, people all over the world recognize it as a day to promote keeping the environment healthy. Photo Credit: ax2groin via Flickr

By participating in the cause for just one month, on average, each No Meat May participant will save at least 31 grateful animals, avoid 7kgs of meat consumption and prevent approximately 108kgs of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

Research suggests that more than 2 Million Australians now identify as vegetarian and Australia boasts the third fastest growing vegan market in the world.  According to No Meat May co-founder Ryan Alexander, No Meat May gives participants a no-strings-attached opportunity to remove meat from their diets for a relatively short period of time, and in doing so, to make a tangible difference to their health, the wellbeing of animals and the environment.

“If just 20 percent of Aussies participated in No Meat May, they would collectively save over 124 million animals and over 430,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in just that one month,” he said.

That said, the No Meat May effect tends to continue long after May 31st, with 94 percent of past participants going on to reduce their total meat consumption and one third permanently eliminating meat from their diets.

“Meanwhile, animal Agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, rainforest destruction, species extinction, ocean dead zones, and fresh water consumption and it takes more than nine times the fossil fuel to produce one calorie of meat than it does for one calorie of plant protein.  Once you start looking into it, the drivers to switching to a more plant based diet are hard to argue with,” said Alexander.

However Alexander’s partner and No Meat May co-founder, Guy James Whitworth, insists that despite the doom and gloom, the No Meat May movement focuses on the positive and proactive elements of challenging one’s thoughts and behaviours, and the adventure of trying a different way of life for a short while, rather than ‘beating people over the heads with hard facts, shame and guilt trips.’

“Food should be about fun, pleasure and nourishment. While our message is inherently serious, no one wants to be preached to, and we believe behavioural change should be an exciting adventure, and a dabble with reinvention,” said Whitworth.

“We recognise that people change incrementally over time and No Meat May provides a safe stepping stone, evidence based information, and support for that bold first step.  There are so many exciting reasons to engage and inspire people to become plant powered super heroes,” he said.

After signing up on the website, No Meat May participants can access mouth-watering plant-based recipes and nutritional guidance, and attend a range of special events at the No meat May “HQ” in Sydney’s Mascot – including a conservation photography exhibition and plant based cooking classes.

For more information, or to join the revolution, visit nomeatmay.net and visit the following social media channels:

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