College Students Refuse Meatless Monday Propaganda

Meatless Monday is propaganda to make you feel guilty for eating real food.

The fundamental lie that is used to make Meatless Monday seem like a good idea is anthropogenic global warming.

I don’t know if the college students who pushed back hard against the Meatless Monday campaign are outright skeptics about man-made climate change, or if they simply refuse to believe meatlessness is an essential part of dealing with that claim. But they did push back.

According to “Promote ‘Meatless Monday’? Not here, UNL says

Is even one day without meat too many in Nebraska?

It is for some at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The question splits students in UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which is home to agriculture as well as environmental programs.

When environmental studies students recently asked the student government for its blessing to spend a little money promoting “Meatless Monday” on campus, they stirred up a big response from their neighbors in ag programs.

Meat production contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, the environmental studies students said, and UNL students should be informed about that.

Misleading, the Collegiate Farm Bureau members said. Not in my backyard, the animal science majors said.

Student senators overwhelmingly agreed and voted down the proposal.

If you look at the picture of the sign the environmental students wanted to display, you can see why the students didn’t want to support an attack on their chosen careers (click on image to see larger version).

meatless monday

Though the sign acknowledged the importance of meat to the ag industry in Nebraska, it didn’t point out that meat is healthy or that modern plant agri-business has its own environmental hazards. Instead, it made a virtue of meatlessness and offered student a symbolic starting point by practicing “meatless Monday.”

What bothers me about this story is that the premise is never questioned that this is a conflict between those who like to eat or make their living from meat and those who are environmentally conscious. That is a dogma, not a real result of scientific investigation.

Committee Chairman Reed Brodersen, a senior environmental studies major from Lincoln, said he understood the emotions involved. But he was surprised when other students wholeheartedly disputed the idea that the environmental impact of meat production justifies eating less meat.

“In the environmental community, reducing meat consumption is a pretty standard action,” Brodersen said.

Well, Brodersen, people aren’t willing to simply bow to your “standard action.” Get used to it. We have our own standards.

Robert Lawrence, director of the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University, which is associated with the Meatless Monday Project, said the science on industrialized food production and its impact on the environment is no longer in question — even if political wrangling continues on what to do about it.

“I can understand their concern about seeming to attack their own livelihood, but I think the debate should be reframed as doing what’s right for human health, planetary health and using the creativity of scientists at land grant institutions to move toward sustainable food production,” Lawrence said.

Oh yes. “Settled science” commands us to feel guilty about eating meat.

I have written elsewhere and linked resources about how this is all simply wrong. The factory meat industry is not beyond criticism, but its environmental problems derive mainly from its unnecessary reliance on grain production.

It is good news that students refused to go along with approving the condemnation of meat. May more students do the same at other college campuses.