What is “Green Monday”?
How is Green Monday different from “Meatless Monday” or “Meat-free Monday”?
Why launch Green Monday in Vietnam?
The livestock sector in Vietnam remains predominantly small-scale, with about 80% of Vietnam’s swineherd, 70% of its dairy herd, 40% of cattle, and 75% of it poultry flocks maintained by small householder farms; however, in anticipation of escalating demand, the Government of Vietnam’s 2008 Development Strategy for the Livestock Industry called for the reorganization and industrialization of the sector to increase livestock production from the current 30 percent of total agricultural output to 38 percent in 2015 and 42 percent by 2020. Many smaller farms in Vietnam have already incorporated features of the industrial farm model in the belief that it is inherently desirable, but this model is associated with very serious risks to public health and the environment, and to animals, as well.
Despite perceptions that the industrialization and intensification of animal agriculture is inevitable and beneficial to average consumers, the production and sale of inexpensive and plentiful pork, chicken, beef, eggs, and dairy products in reality creates a great number of direct and indirect costs borne by individuals, communities, and our shared planet. The escalating demand for these foods promotes intense competition among farmers and suppliers to market their products to consumers at the lowest possible prices. Consequently, they try to reduce the costs for infrastructure, production, and the transportation to the greatest extent possible, which often result in adverse effects not just for animal welfare, but also for the environment, and for public health. If we look to the experiences of other nations that have taken a similar path, we can see that the industrialization of this sector comes with numerous risks, including negative impacts on public health, animal welfare, and the environment.
What does it mean to take the “Green Monday” pledge?
What is a “plant-based” diet?
How is a plant-based diet different from a vegetarian or vegan diet?
The term vegetarian is frequently used to describe a whole range of diets that reduce or eliminate various animal products. These variants include:
• Lacto-vegetarian: Excludes eggs and all types of meat and seafood, but permits the consumption of dairy products.
• Ovo-vegetarian: Excludes dairy products and all types of meat and seafood, but permits the consumption of eggs.
• Lacto-ovo vegetarian: Excludes all types of meat and seafood, but permits the consumption of eggs and dairy products.
You don’t have to become a vegan or a vegetarian to take the Green Monday Vietnam pledge . We respect your individual food choices, but hope that when you know more about the issues associated with the excessive production and consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products, you’ll choose to buy and consume less
Is a diet without meat, eggs, or dairy products always healthier?
Is a plant-based diet nutritionally adequate?
What are benefits of eating a plant-based diet?
• Plant-based foods are delicious and easy to prepare.
• Plant-based meals can be more cost effective than meat-centric meals.
• Plant-based diets have been linked with many health benefits, including lower rates of overweight and obesity, and lower risk for coronary heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
• A plant-based diet can help you reduce your carbon footprint because plant-based foods use less water, require less land for production, and emit fewer greenhouse gases than the production of animal products.
• Reducing or eliminating consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products means fewer animals will suffer in cruel confinement on factory farms.
Why is Green Monday Vietnam good for my health?
There has been a shift from a diet emphasizing cereals, vegetables, fruits, and legumes towards one that is comprised largely of animal products, refined carbohydrates, oils, and processed foods. And we don’t get enough fiber. Many of use exercise less and eat out at restaurants a lot more often. We also now eat far more meat, eggs, and dairy products, and far fewer vegetables and fruits. Even as some families continue to struggle for enough to eat, far more Vietnamese are today overweight or obese that at any time in our nation’s history. And for the first time in our history, more of us are dying from preventable and treatable non-communicable chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer than communicable diseases.
Escalating rates of obesity among both adults and children have recently emerged as one of Vietnam’s most pressing public health challenges. Obesity is a risk factor for a number of non-communicable chronic diseases, including type II diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, musculoskeletal disorders, and several forms of cancer.
Recent studies have found the prevalence of overweight and obese adults and children in Vietnam, especially in urban areas, have grown rapidly over the last decades. , Nationally, overweight and obesity rates in Vietnam for boys (
A 2007 study found the prevalence of overweight and obesity for adults in Ho Chi Minh City to be 26.2% and 6.4%, respectively, and that overweight status was associated with higher economic status. Another study found that from 2002 to 2004 the prevalence of overweight and obesity increased in HCMC adolescents from 5.0% and 0.6% to 11.7% and 2.0%, respectively, and that this increase was more pronounced in boys (113%) than in girls (39%). A similar study using WHO criteria reported the overall prevalence of overweight and obesity to have increased to 19.6% and 7.9%, respectively, as of 2013.
A 2007 cross-sectional study of children (ages 9-11) in four schools in Hanoi and HCMC recorded obesity rates ranging anywhere from as low as 1.1 to 41.1%.
In addition to Vietnam’s rising rates of obesity, a quarter (25.1%) of Vietnamese adults are believed to have high blood pressure, though the rate may is likely considerably higher (32.7%) among the urban population. A 2002 Vietnam National Health Survey estimated that nearly one half of all adult men and women will develop hypertension by the time they turn 65. Moreover, while in 1991 just 1% of the adult Vietnamese population had type II diabetes mellitus, a 2012 nationwide survey found that number had risen to 6%. A 2010 study conducted in Ho Chi Minh City found the prevalence of undiagnosed type II diabetes could be as high as 10.8% in men and 11.7% in women.
Excess consumption of animal products is a known risk factor for obesity and for many chronic diseases. A strong body of scientific evidence links excess meat consumption, particularly of red and processed meat, with heart disease stroke type 2 diabetes obesity certain cancers and earlier death.
Another risk factor for morbidity and mortality is inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption. Approximately 1.7 million (2.8%) of deaths worldwide are attributable to low fruit and vegetable consumption , and worldwide, insufficient intake of fruit and vegetables is estimated to cause around 14% of gastrointestinal cancer deaths, about 11% of ischemic heart disease deaths, and about 9% of stroke deaths. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake up to 600 grams per day could reduce the total global burden of disease by 1.8%, and reduce the burden of ischemic heart disease and ischemic stroke by 31% and 19%, respectively.
Conversely, research has found that eating a plant-based diet is associated with lower rates of obesity, and lower risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer. A joint panel of experts from the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations recommends that people consume a minimum of 400 g of fruits and vegetables per day to help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Diets high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans can help prevent these diseases and promote health in a variety of ways. Many of these diseases can also be reversed with a plant-based diet, so, its never too late to start eating green!
What is industrialized farm animal production (IFAP)?
Why is Green Monday Vietnam good for Animals?
More than 500 million land animals were raised for food in Vietnam in 2013 alone, the vast majority of which were chickens and pigs. Although smallholder farms raised most of these animals, there has been in recent years a deliberate shift towards adopting the industrialized model of livestock production commonly found in many developed economies. In fact, the shift towards industrial farm animal production has been encouraged by Vietnamese leaders as a necessary step to meet rising consumer demand.
A large percentage of egg-laying hens and mother pigs in industrial farm facilities spend nearly their entire lives in cages or crates, where they are unable to exercise, fully extend their limbs, or engage in many other important natural behaviors that are important to their physical and psychological health and wellbeing.
In battery cages, each hen must live her entire life in a space smaller than a single sheet of letter-sized paper. Hens are unable even to spread their wings or engage in other important natural behaviors, including walking, perching, dust bathing and laying eggs in a nest.
Around the world, millions of breeding sows (female pigs) in industrial systems are confined in 0.6-0.7 m (2.0- 2.3 ft) by 2.0-2.1 m (6.6-6.9 ft) gestation crates for nearly their entire lives. These crates are about the size of the animals’ bodies, denying the sows the ability to exercise, turn around for months on end, or perform other integral, instinctual, and natural behaviors, including rooting, foraging, nest-building, and grazing.
Given a natural and healthy life, cows can live for 20 years or more; however, in the dairy industry high-yielding dairy cows will last for only a quarter of that time because they are often culled after three lactations or less because they become chronically lame or infertile. Repeated re-impregnation, short calving intervals, overproduction of milk, restrictive housing systems, poor nutrition, and physical disorders impair the welfare of the animals in industrial dairy operations. In commercial dairy farming, nearly all calves are taken away from their mother shortly after birth. This causes severe distress to both the cow and her calf.
By reducing your consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products you can help cut the demand that is fueling the expansion of the livestock sector and the cruel, intensive confinement of animals. We can improve animal welfare by decreasing our consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products, replacing those products with plant-based alternatives, and refining our diet by purchasing products that support higher standards of animal welfare.
Why is Green Monday Vietnam good for the environment?
How does Green Monday Vietnam help with water scarcity?
Globally, the farm animal sector uses significant amounts of the water available to humans. Animal agriculture sector takes up about 29 percent of global agriculture water requirements. The growth in farm animal production is projected to increase strain on water resources, particularly due to the high water demand involved in growing animal feed. Farm animals also require water for hydration, and at industrial operations—water is needed to clean enclosures (e.g. cages, stalls, pens) and sheds, to dispose of waste, and to cool the animals. Processing animal products also requires large volumes of water and can result in significant amounts of wastewater.
It takes an average of 4,323 liters of water is required to produce 1kg of chicken, almost 6,000 liters of water to produce 1kg of pork, and nearly 15.5 thousand liters of water for 1kg of beef ; whereas, roughly 1,600 liters of water is needed to produce 1kg of cereals.
By reducing your consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products you can help cut the demand that is fueling the expansion of the livestock sector and conserve water resources for direct human use, including the production of cereals and vegetables for human consumption.
How can Green Monday Vietnam help prevent water pollution?
One of the major sources of water contamination is animal waste. For example, much of the environmental damage caused by industrial pig production facilities is due to the volume and content of animal waste, and the consequent challenges of storage and disposal. Pigs produce four times more waste than human beings and “one animal facility with a large population of animals can easily equal a small city in terms of waste production.”
Waste from factory farms is often stored in lagoons or pits, which can leak or break, contaminating nearby water sources with excess nitrogen and phosphorous, pathogens, and other pollutants that are found in the manure. Waste produced by these facilities are sometimes minimally treated (or even untreated) and sprayed on nearby fields, potentially contaminating water, soil, and air. Factory farm manure contains a number of components of concern to human health, including heavy metals and pathogenic bacteria, and may emit volatile gases.
By reducing your consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products you can help cut the demand that is fueling the expansion of the livestock sector and help protect our water and air resources against contamination from the by-products of these facilities.
Does a plant-based diet require a lot of planning and preparation?
Will a plant-based diet be boring and bland?
Won’t it be difficult to get enough protein without consuming meat, eggs, and dairy products?
It’s essential to make sure that you include good sources of protein at each meal, and that you consume a variety of protein sources to ensure that you’re getting all the essential amino acids. And just remember, some of the largest animals on the planet, including the elephants, gorillas, hippopotamuses, and rhinoceroses, eat a plant-base diet!
Does it have to be Monday?
What if I forget and miss a Monday?
Who has already endorsed Green Monday Vietnam?
What can I do to help promote Green Monday Vietnam?
• Eat green and take the Green Monday Vietnam pledge today!
• Learn more about Green Monday eating at greenmondayvn.org, and spread the word by giving talks and distributing information at your school, office, place of worship, or other places in your community.
• Encourage retailers, schools, restaurants & hotels to increase their offerings of delicious, healthy plant-based foods.
• Further the conversation on animal welfare, sustainability, and equity within the food system. Ask your food retailer if their eggs are sourced from cage-free or free-range farms, and if their pork is sourced from crate-free suppliers.
• Support small, traditional farmers practicing more animal welfare friendly and sustainable agriculture.
• If your institution, organization, or company would like to help, contact Green Monday Vietnam to find out how to become a partner! We’ll send you lots of tips on ways to promote plant-based eating and how to implement Green Monday Vietnam in your organization.
• Share our website (www.greenmondayvn.org) with your family, friends and co-workers.
• Like Green Monday Vietnam’s Facebook page: Facebook
• Follow @GreenMondayVn on Twitter #GreenMondayVn.