Weekend Review: Vegetarian Wednesdays Blog

September 29, 2007

This local blog first came to my attention via an article in the local paper about a University of Michigan medical student and his daughter who are operating a blog together that is encouraging people to eat vegetarian meals one day a week (on Wednesdays). The Vegetarian Wednesday blog began just this past summer. Originally founded by Josh Mugele and his daughter Eleanor, there are now a few other writers (relatives and med school classmates) who contribute to the blog as well.

“Vegetarian Wednesday started when my daughter wanted to become a vegetarian but couldn’t do it all at once (she loves her chicken nuggets). I told her I’d help her by doing it with her, and we’d start by becoming vegetarians one day a week. Thus was born Vegetarian Wednesday. She wants to become a vegetarian because she loves animals. I want to do it because it’s good for me and good for the planet. Did you know that the meat industry is one of the leading contributors to global warming in the world? Did you know that eating less meat lowers your weight and total cholesterol? Think of what we could do if we all stopped eating meat for just one day a week.

“The purpose of this blog is to encourage meat-eaters like me to make a difference in their health and in the health of the planet by trying to eat no meat one day each week. On this blog we can share recipes, stories about Vegetarian Wednesdays, and most of all spread the word.”

The blog includes a number of recipes for a variety of vegetarian dishes, as well as some (very brief) reviews of vegetarian dishes by an actual 9-year-old (ranging from “No way,” for zucchini and mushroom enchiladas to “I love tofu. Tofu’s great,” for a simple General Tso’s Tofu recipe). Beyond the recipes there are also discussions of related topics connected to overall reduction of lifestyle impact to reviews of books and movies such as The Omnivore’s Dillemma and The 11th Hour. There are also discussions about restaurants (some local, some national chains) as they are connected to vegetarian eating.

Certainly this isn’t the first time anyone has considered partial vegetarianism, either as a step towards embracing vegetarian eating completely (as the daughter is doing), or just to push themselves to eat lower on the food chain and to eat a healthier diet (as the father is doing). My own family did something like this a couple years ago (though not so regularly or as organized as this is) when we had a share of vegetables each week from a local CSA farm (community-supported agriculture). Even when it is done in a haphazard fashion, you will most likely find yourself trying new things and increasing the variety of your meals. We’ve kind of let that idea slip lately, but perhaps this will be the inspiration for us to restart that ourselves.

Just taking a break from eating meat for one day a week reduces your consumption by about 15%. And Vegetarian Wednesday offers a list of other benefits to not eating meat:

  • It fights global warming.
  • You’ll get your daily vitamins at least one day a week.
  • It makes you look better.
  • It’ll make you feel better.
  • It cuts back on the killing of animals.
  • It reduces our reliance on foreign oil.
  • Chicks (or dudes) will dig you.

If you are looking for a community to support you in a partially vegetarian lifestyle, this seems like it might be the place for you. It’s very much an experiment rather than a soapbox for these writers. It’s vegetarianism for the rest of us. Vegetarians who can also say, “But pork chops taste so good!”

Link: Vegetarian Wednesday