Norway's Military Institutes Meatless Mondays for the Climate

Norway's Military Does "Meatless Mondays" for the ClimateGirls eat at Norwegian Military Girl's Camp. Photo by Metziker/Flickr.

The “Meatless Mondays” campaign was originally thought up to support the war effort during World War I, but now a modern army is using it to fight an even bigger battle—the one against climate change.

Last fall, the Norwegian army announced their plan to join the campaign by preparing their soldiers (both at home and overseas) a meat-free breakfast, lunch, and dinner once a week.

It's not just Norway where the military is concerned about climate change.

"It's not about saving money," said navy commander and nutritionist Pal Stenberg, who runs the catering department. "It's about being more concerned for our climate, more ecologically responsible, and also healthier."

According to the United Nations, the livestock industry contributes almost 15 percent to the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans. And a study released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the global livestock business takes up 30 percent of the earth's ice-free land and 30 percent of fresh water.

Growing vegetables is less resource-intensive. According to, it takes an average of 8,520 calories of fossil fuel to produce one pound of beef, but only 200 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce the same amount of protein from veggies. With Norway's army saying they hope to cut down their meat consumption by 330,000 pounds of meat a year, you can begin to see how vegetarian days in large organizations like the military can make an impact.

And it's not just Norway where the military is concerned about climate change. Last week former United States army officer Michael Breen wrote in The New York Times that the U.S. Defense Department plans to release an updated Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap by the end of 2014. The roadmap is a guide for handling the effect global warming has on U.S. military missions and operations.

 Get The Latest From InnerSelf

"Military leaders are in the business of recognizing threats, and acting to defeat them," wrote Breen. "Climate change is no different. Americans need to care about climate change, because our nation's security depends on it."

This article originally appeared on YES! Magazine

pleaasant lizAbout The Author

Liz Pleasant  is a graduate of the University of Washington's program in Anthropology, and an online editorial intern at YES! Magazine Follow her on Twitter @lizpleasant.

Recommended Book:

The Earth Only Endures: On Reconnecting with Nature and Our Place in It  --  by Jules Pretty.

The Earth Only Endures: On Reconnecting with Nature and Our Place in It by Jules Pretty.For most of human history, we have lived our daily lives in a close relationship with the land. Yet now, for the first time, more people are living in urban rather than rural areas, bringing about an estrangement. This book, by acclaimed author Jules Pretty, is fundamentally about our relationship with nature, animals and places. A series of interlinked essays leads readers on a voyage that weaves through the themes of connection and estrangement between humans and nature. The journey shows how our modern lifestyles and economies would need six or eight Earths if the entire world's population adopted our profligate ways. Jules Pretty shows that we are rendering our own world inhospitable and so risk losing what it means to be human: unless we make substantial changes, Gaia threatens to become Grendel. Ultimately, however, the book offers glimpses of an optimistic future for humanity, in the very face of climate change and pending global environmental catastrophe.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.


follow InnerSelf on


 Get The Latest By Email



The Day Of Reckoning Has Come For The GOP
by Robert Jennings,
The Republican party is no longer a pro-America political party. It is an illegitimate pseudo-political party full of radicals and reactionaries whose stated goal is to disrupt, destabilize, and…
Why Donald Trump Could Be History's Biggest Loser
by Robert Jennings,
Updated July 2, 20020 - This whole coronavirus pandemic is costing a fortune, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 fortunes, all of unknown size. Oh yeah, and, hundreds of thousands, maybe a million, of people will die…
Blue-Eyes vs Brown Eyes: How Racism is Taught
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
In this 1992 Oprah Show episode, award-winning anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliott taught the audience a tough lesson about racism by demonstrating just how easy it is to learn prejudice.
A Change Is Gonna Come...
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
(May 30, 2020) As I watch the news on the events in Philadephia and other cities in the country, my heart aches for what is transpiring. I know that this is part of the greater change that is taking…
A Song Can Uplift the Heart and Soul
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I have several ways that I use to clear the darkness from my mind when I find it has crept in. One is gardening, or spending time in nature. The other is silence. Another way is reading. And one that…