If there’s one thing I love more than connecting the dots between human, animal, and environmental well-being, it’s when PUBLIC HEALTH connects those dots! The discipline took an important steps toward doing so when the American Public Health Association (APHA) featured Meatless Monday during its annual meeting and exposition in Boston last week.
Meatless Monday is a global movement encouraging meat-free Mondays for the sake of individual health and the planet’s well-being. On Tuesday, November 5th, Elizabeth Meltz, Director of Sustainability for the Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group, discussed the rise of Meatless Monday and its implication for restaurants. She used the movement as an example of how public health concerns and corporate interests can be successfully united. The meeting also featured a session about the link between dietary choices and health.
As I’ve written before, I’m a fan of public health because I think it provides particularly powerful and useful tools for changing violent and exploitive norms and behaviors. While this bit of connectionist success centers on dietary choices, featuring the Meatless Monday movement is an important step in connecting the dots within public health. And Meatless Monday is the perfect entry point because it began in partnership with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The APHA annual meeting and exposition is a very popular and very large event; by highlighting Meatless Monday, organizers not only put the issue in front of hundreds of public health practitioners but also demonstrated acceptance of the strategy within the public health world. That’s no small feat and, as someone who uses public health principles to work against violence and towards a peaceful and just world for all, I hope to see the connections continue.