WASHINGTON – Continuing his efforts to promote the environmental and health benefits of consuming less meat, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) has sent a “Dear Colleague” message to his fellow Representatives, urging them to join the global “Meatless Monday” movement.

 Cárdenas’ congressional staff chose, last year, to observe Meatless Mondays along with the Congressman.

“Raising livestock for food causes the destruction of open space in favor of factory farms, the release of millions of tons of greenhouse gases, and the consumption of valuable drinking water,” said Cárdenas in the letter. “By going meat-free even one day a week, we can help conservation efforts and take one more action to help mitigate the threat of global climate change.”

Cárdenas’ San Fernando Valley district has suffered along with all of Southern California in the current drought.

“Some of the nation’s largest school districts, workplaces and public figures are signing up to start the week off by taking a day off from eating meat,” the letter continued. “Going meat-free means enjoying delicious vegetarian options at restaurants and trying out new recipes at home.”

Meatless Mondays is not a new idea. During the first half of the 20th Century, particularly throughout the years of World War I and II, millions of American families pledged to observe Meatless Mondays in an effort to support our troops and allies fighting abroad.

Cárdenas’ staff takes part in the Meatless Monday efforts by not only avoiding meat, but also posting favorite vegetarian recipes on various social media outlets.