A University City, Mo., Pi Pizza restaurant is now serving only vegetarian dishes on Mondays. The move is part of Meatless Mondays, an international campaign created to cut meat consumption, according to University City's Patch.com.
Advocates are pushing for more restaurants to embrace the Meatless Mondays concept for health and environmental reasons. Red and processed meats have been linked to some cancers, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Additionally, embracing a plant-based diet reduces a meal's carbon footprint, water usage and fossil fuel dependence.
Meatless campaigns date back to World War I, when the government called for limited consumption by the American public, to ensure enough food supplies for military members. Meat was also rationed during World War II.
In 2003, the campaign was revisited as a public health campaign, spearheaded by advertising executive Sid Lerner. Monday was targeted, Lerner said, because it's the day we "we pick ourselves up after a weekend of indulgence and head for the gym. It's all about incremental changes, cutting back a little here, a little there."
According to Sauce Magazine, a Missouri-based culinary publication that features a Meatless Monday column, the movement is building across the country.
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