Meat Consumption & Public Health Resources
Check out Meatless Monday for recipes, news stories, toolkits, and other resources to get involved with the national campaign and global movement.
Health & Environmental Implications of U.S. Meat Consumption & Production
Reducing your intake of meat and animal products, particularly from industrial sources, can help protect your health, the health of the public, and the environment. Even a small change - like cutting meat from your diet once per week, as the Meatless Monday campaign suggests - can make a difference. We've gathered just a small sample of the evidence in favor of going meatless.
Livable Future Blog Entries
Over the years, we’ve written and curated many blogposts about Meatless Monday initiatives and supporting research. Check out our Meatless Monday contributions.
Research and Project Ideas for Students
If you are interested in collaborating with the Center on research for a master’s capstone or other project in relation to Meatless Monday and/or meat consumption or sustainable/healthy eating more broadly, check out this list of ideas.
Resources for Health Professionals
Key Public Health & Environmental Resources
- “An Introduction to the U.S. Food System: Perspectives from Public Health” is a free online 6-week course beginning in January 2014 offered through Coursera. Taught by CLF’s Dr. Robert Lawrence and Dr. Keeve Nachman, the course explores how food intersects with public health and the environment as it moves from field to plate. A lecture about Meatless Monday is featured in the last module about the demand side of the food system equation.
- Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production was formed in 2008 in conjunction with the Pew Charitable Trust and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to conduct a comprehensive, fact-based and balanced examination of key aspects of the farm animal industry. The report, “Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America” was released in 2009. Search our database by topic for more CLF-funded research, projects and publications.
- For everything you never wanted to know about how the majority of our meat is produced in this country, read the 2008 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, “CAFOs Uncovered: The Untold Costs of Confined Animal Feeding Operations.”
- Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options is a landmark report published in 2006 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that assessed the livestock sector’s contribution to environmental degradation. This report has sparked controversy in recent years about exact calculations for greenhouse gas emissions of livestock production. In September 2013 FAO published a new report, "Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock: A Global Assessment of Emissions and Mitigation Opportunities" with revised estimates for greenhouse gas emission from livestock - putting the figure at a lower 14.5 percent of global human-caused emissions, compared to 18 percent in the previous report from 2006.
- The Environmental Working Group’s Meat-Eaters Guide to Climate Change and Health provides resources to consumers who want to eat healthier and reduce their climate and environmental impacts.
- The Climate Friendly Food Guide is based on information learned in NPR’s extensive interviews with leading climate scientists, public health experts and others on how Americans can eat better while improving their health and that of the environment.
- The World Wildlife Fund-UK and the Food Ethics Council released a 2013 report, Prime Cuts, that explores what "less but better" meat consumption could mean. Another UK-based group, Friends of the Earth, produced this comprehensive guide in 2010, Healthy Planet Eating: How Lower Meat Diets can Save Lives and the Planet, to help policymakers and citizens understand why shifting support from factory farming to better-quality, more moderately-consumed meat will benefit the planet and human health.
- For information about the global impact of rising meat consumption, check out the 2012 United Nations Environmental Programme discussion paper on The Critical Role of Global Food Consumption Patterns in Achieving Sustainable Food Systems and Food For All; the Worldwatch Institute’s Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry report from 2005; and Compassion in World Farming Trust’s 2004 report, “The Global Benefits of Eating Less Meat.”
Helpful Images, Graphics, and Infographics
Selection of Related Books & Cookbooks
- Barton, Mirium.Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters: Over 150 Delicious Recipes. 2011.
- Berley, Peter and Singer, Zoe.The Flexitarian Table: Inspired, Flexible Meals for Vegetarians, Meat Lovers, and Everyone in Between. 2007.
- Bittman, Mark.Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating: 2008.
- Blatner, Dawn Jackson. The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life. 2009.
- Boyle, Eleanor. High Steaks: Why and How to Eat Less Meat. 2012.
- Brown, Lester.Full Planet, Empty Plates. 2012.
- Campbell, T.Colin and Campbell, Thomas M.The China Study. 2004.
- Cribb, Julian.The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It. 2010.
- Cronish, Nettie and Crocker, Pat.Everyday Flexitarian: Recipes for Vegetarians and Meat lovers alike. 2011.
- D’Silva, Joyce and John Webster, eds. The Meat Crisis: Developing More Sustainable Production and Consumption. 2010.
- Foer, Jonathan Safran. Eating Animals. 2009.
- Imhoff, Daniel.CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories. 2010.
- Jacobson, Michael F.Six Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a More Plant-Based Diet Could Save Your Health & the Environment. 2006.
- Kirby, David.Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment. 2010.
- Lappe, Anna.Diet for a Hot Planet. 2010.
- Foreward by Paul, Stella, and Mary McCartney.The Meat Free Monday Cookbook. 2012.
- Nestle, Marion. Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. 2003.
- Nestle. Marion. What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating. 2006.
- Niman, Nicolette Hahn. Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms. 2010.
- O’Donnell, Kim.The Meat Lovers’ Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour. 2010.
- O’Donnell, Kim.The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations. 2010.
- Palmer, Sharon.The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today. 2012.
- Pollan, Michael.The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. 2007.
- Salatin, Joel. Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World. 2011.
- Zissu, Alexandra.The Conscious Kitchen. 2010.