|USDA Retracts Support for Meatless Monday after Beef Industry’s Reaction|
|Written by Michelle Reeves, Four Green Steps|
|Monday, 13 August 2012 09:02|
Written by Michelle Reeves, Four Green Steps
A tweet from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association on July 25th read: “USDA Supports Meatless Monday Campaign: - NCBA Question’s USDA’s Commitment to US Cattlemen.” Aside from the improper use of apostrophes, the tweet summed up the NCBA’s reaction to a memo sent out to U.S Department of Agriculture employees encouraging them to adopt Meatless Mondays at the office’s cafeteria.
Another tweet courtesy of Iowa senator, Chuck Grassley, read: “I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt a meatless Monday.”
Countless other negative reactions popped up all around the Internet in late July as lobbyists and politicians seemed to be terribly disgusted with the idea that anyone out there would support Meatless Mondays. What they fail to understand is that this is a way of raising awareness about the environmental and health impacts behind meat. The USDA was attempting to reduce their environmental impact, which is why they were encouraging employees to skip the burger on Mondays. The juvenile tweets sound like reactions to blatant insult, rather than intelligent decision-making.
The fact that the meat industry took the memo so personally clearly shows their insecurities and their dependence on the red-blooded, meat-eating American stereotype. Meatless Monday is a phenomenon based on United Nations data that describes animal agriculture as a major source of greenhouse gases and contributor to climate change.
However, the agency removed the post hours after the NCBA denounced it in a press release, with USDA officials explaining that it was posted without proper clearance. The department very often promotes the beef industry by encouraging Americans to eat meat.
Americans eat 90 pounds of beef every year on average. That’s four times the international average. Heart disease is the number 1 killer in America. Meat industry lobbies such as the American Meat Institute and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are among the most powerful and influential in the country.
The USDA was trying to take a step forward for the country’s environment and its people’s arteries, but looks like a good old fashioned steak is still worth all that destruction and disease.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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