Research shows that plant-based diets are great for the environment, but convincing people to give up meat has been a constant challenge. The Washington Post confronted this issue in an article last Thursday, asking how we might better convince people to change their eating habits.
According to the article, good solutions can come in the form of “nudges,” or small encouragements aimed at influencing behavior. A nudge can be as simple as reducing meat and increasing veggie portions at home or in restaurants. Grocery stores and buffets can display their vegetarian options more prominently. Stressing the connection between food and animals is also effective, like displaying photos of meat dishes and the animals they came from next to each other on menus.
Meatless Monday programs are another successful solution. One 12-year-old from a New York school that implemented Meatless Mondays and Vegan Fridays took the idea back to his family, who now make vegetarian meals at home. And the school’s cook ambassador says that other kids also love the plant-based offerings
“Vegan day is just the biggest day we serve right now,” he said. “It’s bigger than hamburger and even pizza day.”
Let’s all remind our friends and family the benefits of eating a plant-based diet, if only a little bit more. It may be just the nudge they need!