Quantcast

Texas Official Cries: 'Keep Meatless Mondays Out of Schools'

Food

Apparently thinking they will never be able to have a steak or hamburger again, the "Meatless Monday" movement has caused wailing and gnashing of teeth among people whose eating habits haven't advanced into the 21st century.

Are Meatless Mondays a "carefully orchestrated campaign that seeks to eliminate meat from Americans’ diets seven days a week?"
Photo credit: Shutterstock

At a time when it's become known that the meat industry, especially raising cattle, sucks up resources and contributes to climate change and that a meat-dominated diet is unhealthy, encouraging people to eat less meat or cut out red meat has taken hold. Even in Cleveland, Ohio, a city whose cuisine was once heavy on schnitzel and kielbasa, the city council recently passed, and the mayor signed, a Meatless Monday resolution. And schools systems in Ann Arbor, Kansas City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Diego and Los Angeles all observe Meatless Monday.

But it's the end of the world as we know it for some. Texas agriculture commissioner Todd Staples wrote an op-ed in the Austin Statesman-American "Keep 'Meatless Mondays' Out of Schools." Claiming to be "very concerned" about the well-being of kids in schools districts that have adopted the program, he sees conspiracy lurking.

Thrown into a tizzy by the adoption of Meatless Mondays in the small district of Dripping Springs outside Austin, he claimed, "This activist movement called ‘Meatless Monday’ is a carefully orchestrated campaign that seeks to eliminate meat from Americans’ diets seven days a week—starting with Mondays."

He also said in the op-ed that not serving meat would deprive low-income children of "their only source of protein for the day," recycling the debunked idea that meat is an essential source of protein. He's also said in the past that it was "treasonous" for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to suggest its employees observe Meatless Mondays. (The same suggestion in 2012 provoked Senator John Cornyn of Texas and ex-Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa to protest by ordering a meaty Monday meal with Cornyn calling it "bone-headed.")

And no, no, NO! a spokesman for the Texas Department of Agriculture maintained, the $116,000 in campaign contributions Staples has received from the beef industry has NOTHING to do with his stance.

The reaction in Cleveland was a little less hysterical and more mocking in tone. Plain Dealer columnist Michael Heaton called it "school-marmish," while another PD columnist Mark Naymik said it was "a nod to the yoga and gourmet vegetarian crowd." He then unloaded a bunch of non sequiturs, saying Cleveland doesn't need the resolution because residents can't afford meat (he's apparently overlooking the McDonald's outlets on every corner), that city council should go after vendors who sell spoiled meat instead, that it's hypocritical because council is also promoting the city's fabled West Side Market which sells meat among other things, and oh by the way, shouldn't they be attacking Governor John Kasich's rules disqualifying some people from getting food stamps instead?

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

4 Reasons Why We Need to Rethink Industrial Meat Production

Tax Meat to Reduce Methane Emissions and Global Warming, Say Scientists

Earth-Friendly Diet Campaign Urges Americans to Eat Less Meat

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Milk made from almonds, oats and coconut are among the healthiest alternatives to cow's milk. triocean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.

Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
The Lake Delhi Dam in Iowa failed in 2010. VCU Capital News Service / Josh deBerge / FEMA

At least 1,688 dams across the U.S. are in such a hazardous condition that, if they fail, could force life-threatening floods on nearby homes, businesses, infrastructure or entire communities, according to an in-depth analysis of public records conducted by the the Associated Press.

Read More Show Less

By Sabrina Kessler

Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Alex Robinson

Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.

The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.

Read More Show Less
People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Nov. 11 in Chicago. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
A general view of the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on Nov. 13 in Venice. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP / Getty Images

Two people have died as Venice has been inundated by the worst flooding it has seen in more than 50 years, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less