Who would have thought that something as .. well, bland ... as encouraging employees to consider going meatless for one day a week would blow up into a scandal -- with calls for people to be fired and accusations of “treasonous” behavior?
That’s just what happened after some person (pity him or her!) within theU.S. Department of Agriculturecheerfully suggested Meatless Monday in an internal memo to staff.
An excerpt from the memo:
"One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias is to participate in the 'Meatless Monday' initiative http://www.meatlessmonday.com/. … 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. …. Because Meatless Monday involves only one day a week, it is a small change that could produce big results. Did you notice that our cafeterias have tasty meatless options? So you can really help yourself and the environment while having a good vegetarian meal!”
Here is the outraged reaction by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn., posted Wednesday. In it, the organization’s president J.D. Alexander stated that Meatless Monday is “an animal rights extremist campaign to ultimately end meat consumption” and that since the USDA’s mission is to promote U.S. farming, “this move by USDA should be condemned by anyone who believes agriculture is fundamental to sustaining life on this planet.”