Although the current version of meatless Mondays was started in 2003, history goes much further back than that. It was actually started during World War I when President Wilson called for Tuesdays to be meatless and one meatless meal to be observed every day for a total of nine meatless meals a week. This was done to help the war effort and avoid rationing. The current purpose of meatless Mondays is rooted in two different thought processes. The first one is to make for s healthier diet, and the second reason is to make the planet healthier. The goal is to reduce meat consumption by 15%. This reduction includes any animal protein including chicken and fish, while eggs are usually allowed since they are a byproduct from birds.

In 2003 marketing professional Sid Lerner created this program as part of his work at John Watkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future. Mondays were chosen for several reasons. For many people for religious reasons Friday is already a meatless meal, and with Monday being the first day of the workweek, individuals settle back into their routines and habits that were started on the weekend can be replaced by healthier choices.

Meatless Mondays, which are becoming much more popular, have an impact not only on your personal health but the environment also. Meatless Monday helps the environment by creating less greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are produced in a much larger quantity by livestock than by vegetable growth.  Livestock also uses much more water than growing plants does. 

Advantages for you are your diet will become more nutritious eating plant-based proteins rather than meat-based proteins. It also saves you money because usually meat is much more expensive than replacements like vegetables, grains and legumes. Another advantage for you is red meat has been linked to cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and strokes. 

Although meatless Mondays started in the United States it has continually drawn attention from other countries around the world. It is now being promoted in 43 countries around the world.