Bring Meatless Mondays to UW- La Crosse
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What is Meatless Monday?
Meatless Monday is an international movement to encourage people to reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve their health and the health of the planet. It originated from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2003 and there are 146 campuses world-wide participating in their program today. UWL would be one of the first Wisconsin universities to participate in the program.
Why have a Meatless Monday?
Approximately 10 billion land animals in the United States alone are raised for dairy, meat and eggs each year. Reducing this number through a large-scale reduction of animal protein could provide us solutions to some of our most imperative global health concerns:
Air Quality and Climate Change
Factory farming accounts for more greenhouse gases than all of global transportation combined. The United Nations (UN) shows that animal agriculture produces 14.5% of global air pollution and is the single largest source of methane emission. Methane is reported to be more than 20 times as effective as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere. The UN found that if the world's population decreased their meat consumption, it could significantly help the planet's ability to fight climate change.
Factory farming consumes one-third of our world’s fresh water, with one pound of beef requiring 1,799 gallons of water to produce. On the contrary, growing a pound of tofu requires 302 gallons or less than 17% of the water beef requires. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, factory farming contributes to 75% of all U.S. water quality issues, one being the large dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico from runoff carried by the Mississippi River. The EPA claims that this waste is also responsible for the pollution of groundwater in over 27,000 miles of rivers. These numbers come as no surprise with agriculture taking up over a third of the world’s iceless land.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation and biodiversity loss around the world. Over 99% of our native prairie ecosystem has been taken over for agricultural land use in the Midwest which has led to several local species extinctions.
Several research studies show that decreasing meat consumption lowers your risk of chronic preventable conditions such as cancer, heart disease, brain health, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The World Health Organization has classified processed meats, such as hot dogs, bacon, some deli meats, etc., as group 1 carcinogens (known to cause cancer). It has been estimated that if the projected 10 billion people in 2050 ditched meat and animal products, 8.1 million human lives and one to 31 trillion dollars in Medicare costs could be saved. 
Meatless Mondays at UWL would increase plant-based food choices in the dining halls on Mondays. For more information on Meatless Mondays, check out https://youtu.be/Z7PBTu1dtXY
Please sign the petition with your name below to make the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse a healthier and safer place for generations to come. UWL can be an example for other Wisconsin schools in joining a global movement towards a more sustainable future.
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