My headline says it all.
The USDA sent out an internal newsletter suggesting employees go vegetarian on Mondays as part of the Monday Campaign. A group of Republicans congress critters went apeshit about the suggestion, claiming it was anti-agriculture. And the USDA promptly folded.
Michael Klag, Dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health responded with an intelligent letter that pointed out that meatless Monday is in keeping with the USDA guidelines of good health, that the environmental impact of eating meat is huge and that there is more to agriculture than meat production.
Here’s what the USDA newsletter said:
“How will going meatless one day of the week help the environment? The production of meat, especially beef (and dairy as well), has a large environmental impact. According to the U.N., animal agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change. It also wastes resources. It takes 7,000 kg of grain to make 1,000 kg of beef. In addition, beef production requires a lot of water, fertilizer, fossil fuels, and pesticides. In addition there are many health concerns related to the excessive consumption of meat.”
Being vegetarian or vegan isn’t for everyone. But simply reducing the amount of meat you eat can have positive impact on your health. How a group of individual as puerile as Republicans have ever managed to get elected astonishes me:
Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, for one, had this to say: “I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation [about] a meatless Monday,”
What a colossal jackass.