Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Meatless Mondays

As many Catholics observe meatless Fridays during Lent or all year long, I thought this might be a good subject this morning. This is about school programs that are considering or have gone to "meatless Mondays" and I wanted your comments on it. I received this in an email this morning.

"I thought this might interest some of you.

We are seeing the Meatless Monday program promoted in Lewis County MO schools. A brochure promoting Meatless Monday was sent home with 2nd graders promoting this program. (Copy of the flyer sent home is labeled scan0017.) As you can see at the bottom it is “brought to you by your school food service department.”

This program is an attack on animal agriculture, and not truly an dietary program as it is presented through the school lunch program. I know several people have already been in contact with the Lewis county school district administration to visit about this and the school has apologized and agreed to send home information with kids next month promoting the benefits of a balanced diet that includes meat proteins.

I share this with each of you for multiple reasons.

1. As a person involved with agriculture we should properly educate those in our local communities (schools in this situation) on the professional practices we use to provide safe healthy food for them and their children

2. As a person involved with agriculture in a rural community you likely support your local school district with significant property tax revenue and you should be aware of the information your school is sharing.

3. We all want the children in our communities to have a safe and healthy diet. This dietary information should be based of scientific fact and not a groups political motivations.

I would encourage each of you to keep an open dialog regarding these type of issues with local school board members and school administrators on topics such as this. The link in the letter below has good info regarding this as well.

Have a great week and a safe spring.

Chris Robnett

1891 Maine St Suite 6

Quincy, IL 62301

Office 866-795-6188


Dr. Elizabeth Parker, our immediate past chair, forwarded me your email with the scanned document on Meatless Monday, suggesting I get in touch with you. The Animal Agriculture Alliance, along with a coalition of industry stakeholder organizations, developed a number of resources to specifically address the Meatless Monday campaign – which you probably know was created by long-time NY animal rights activist & heiress Helaine Lerner and her husband and marketing guru Syd Lerner.

Attached is a 4-page brochure in .pdf format we developed specifically on this campaign, and you can find many additional resources on our website at this link.

All of these materials are free and downloadable, and we encourage you to share them with your school administrators and all others you feel could benefit from having these resources. This campaign has been around about 8-9 years, but has only become trendy and has experienced fairly rapid growth in the past 2 years.

We appreciate your interest and your willingness to share the facts about this campaign and its efforts to limit choice as well as to move people – children in particular – to a vegan diet. I’ve cc’d Sarah Hubbart & Kerry Lynch in our office on this email so if you need anything additional or have further questions, please give one of them a call as I’m out of the office until Friday at various meetings. Sarah can be reached at (703)562-1413 and Kerry at (703)562-1411.

Thanks and we’d love to hear what feedback you receive after meeting with the school administrators.

Best regards,

Kay Johnson Smith

President and CEO

Animal Agriculture Alliance



  1. Ed,
    Thanks for putting this out. Animal Ag alliance, and Farm Bureau is working on this as well as other attacks on animal Ag. Animals For Life is also an organization spawned from Farm Bureau to address these issues' Farm Bureau at work. It is plainly an attack on us not for health benefits. It gets paraded as such. Thanks for helping to get the word out. Neil Rhonemus

  2. Thanks Ed for posting this. Two things that surprise me most about this. First, Lewis county neighbors my county and I haven't even heard about this and secondly, I am amazed that this is happening in such a rural area as this. It just goes to show the importance of who we elect into positions to make decisions for us. From the local school board right on up to the White House.

  3. Isn't anybody going to ask what's good for the kids' health, rather than what's good for animal farmers' pockets?
    Or why the pockets of animal farmers from far away and of meat packers from Chicago are more important than the pockets of local farmers producing fresh vegetables?
    Or why it matters in the grand scheme that one meal out of 14 a week does not include meat, in just 0.04% of all public schools (40 out of 98,000)?

    I hope nobody will go as far as pretending that our kids should eat meat at every meal. 17% of all American kids are already overweight according to the U.S. gov, there's nothing "radical" going without meat (not without proteins) for one meal in the week. We eat twice as much beef as the British yet you wouldn't call them famished exactly. First world problems...

    I had a look at the Meatless Monday site and docs, it's really mostly focused on health. If this is a "well-funded" campaign, I'd hate to know how you'd call the AAA lobbyists campaign.
    And if you don't trust public schools to care about your kids, you can always move them to private schools.

    I never had chicken nuggets, now I know why:

  4. Chimel,

    Obesity and other childhood problems are probably linked to lack of exercise, sugar, carbohydrates more than they are meat consumption.

    If you clicked on the one link about food and fitness, it pictures the Holstein cow as being bad, top left corner. That is a strong and wrong message to parents and children, that Holstein cow isn't killing them.

    I see your point but you have to admit the left is going after our diets and even more how we raise crops and livestock. If we listened to them, we wouldn't have the largest source of healthy food of most nations in the world.

    Meatless Fridays fit into our culture, history and beliefs a lot more than meatless Mondays.

  5. I agree, meat does not cause obesity. Too much of it and not enough exertion contribute to it though, but not as much as sugars, as you said.

    I don't see that Holstein link, but I doubt they said that poor cow was killing kids, it's more like we're killing the cows with GMO rBST/rBGH that require massive doses of antibiotics and increase the cows' productivity and their metabolism so much that they are sold for meat at age 4. The ones that are fed corn silage wouldn't live for much longer anyway, I saw such a cow's liver once, a big blob of cirrhosis...

    On the other hand, cows, or rather animal proteins, do kill some people. There were a few health talks on ted.com last year about cancer that showed that a cancer tumor stopped growing after stopping eating animal products (including dairy). Give animal products again, the growth resumed. A very vivid presentation. And something similar happens for auto-immune diseases, which is basically our body defense mechanism detecting a "bad" protein and trying to destroy it, thinking it's a virus or something. Latest research shows that this seems to be triggered by animal proteins that don't look like what the body is used to, so white cells are attacking it. The problem is that some of our own body proteins in some of our organs are so similar to these animal proteins that the white cells can't make the difference and attack our own body. The China Study is a great reference book that I recommend.

    Haha, "the left"? That's a joke, right? You are aware that to the rest of the world, Obama and the Democrats are just as capitalist as the Republicans. A touch more politically correct, maybe, but definitely no revolutionaries.
    Same for most of American food, it is heavily processed and is known as junk food everwhere. Sure, it's cheap, but it's also everything but healthy. Or tasty: I can't find any milk or butter that taste like real milk or butter (butter just tastes like fat, even organic butter), or for vegetables, carrots and potatoes I can enjoy too.

    Having chicken at $1/lb or milk at $2.50/gallon also seems quite insane in this period of high unemployment: I would rather see more workers per acre and pay a little more on food, if that could help create thousands of farm jobs, but I am aware that it's idealistic, most people probably wouldn't even want to leave town for the countryside. It's just that I can't help feeling that something is wrong with our agriculture and economy, and our current ways are not the answers to these problems.

    Yeah, I come from a meatless Friday family, same in school in my days. It was usually fish on Friday though, so not shunning completely animal products.

    By the way, I put the wrong link on that pink slurry at school, here's the right one:

  6. "the last several years I have attended funerals of the elders who helped raise me. Ages ranged from 90-100. They did not die an agonizing death. The body simply ‘ran out of gas’ within 3 months of death….which is NORMAL physiology for a HEALTHY body! These folks at beef, fat back pork, chicken, eggs, milk, fish, wildlife and garden vegetables EVERY day of their life and they PHYSICALLY worked hard in the productive years of life and they went to bed EARLY. So what is there to learn here? Regular exercise and proper rest were a big part of longevity for these folks as well as a balanced diet which included red meat EVERY day. And how does it compare to many of today’s youth I see in sports programs? Many of today’s children are toads….overweight and lazy with low ambition, a poor attitude, and little capability of independent work…they are in these programs as a ‘pacifier’ to the parents…many times I’ve felt more like a ‘babysitter’ than a coach/trainer. They are ALLOWED to sit in front of a TV or VIDEO game for hours on end rather than go outside and play (or hit off a tee) and this is an acceptable to the parents? Combine this with overeating and a poor diet and you get the picture….180 degrees opposite of the longevity model above. Life was different when I grew up….the house was boring and mom new this so she sent us OUTSIDE and in the HEAT of Oklahoma summers….we rode bikes, played ball, climbed trees, hunted, fished, and did all the other mischievous stuff young kids do. We came home tired and worn out. Mom had a good meal prepared so we ate and went to bed early. Then we got up the next day and did it again. Are your children physically fit, rested, and well fed? What is the model they follow at home? Will their longevity exceed yours?