By: Janet Riley
Those of us in the meat industry understand better than most the meaning of the saying “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” And that’s exactly what the Meatless Mondays campaign and the Los Angeles City Council’s recent resolution in favor it really amounts to – something that isn’t what it appears.
Oh sure, it’s politically correct, especially in the PC capital of the nation, to nod in agreement at platitudes like “We eat too much meat in America.” But a look at the data will reveal this NOT to be the case.
Last Sunday night, the NBC Today show phoned and asked for our take on City Council resolution and the campaign in general. I told Today that meat is one of the most nutrient dense foods available and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans say meat can play valuable role in a healthy, balanced diet. In contrast to popular notions, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 technical report found that the meat and beans group is the only group consumed in the proper amount, while Americans under-consume fruits, vegetables and whole grains and over-consume discretionary fats and sugars.
It seems to us that if the sponsors of the Meatless Mondays campaign were truly concerned about nutrition, they’d host More Veggie Monday and Whole Grain Wednesday, but instead, they target for reduction a food that is already consumed in the proper amount, and that is simply irresponsible.
It’s also ironic that with our nation’s focus on obesity, this campaign targets meat, when the scientific literature now documents the vital role it plays in controlling hunger and aiding in weight loss just as it delivers essential vitamins and minerals in a form that is most readily absorbed by the body.
A look at the Meatless Mondays campaign web site reveals its sponsor’s ties to animal rights extremists. The Animal Agriculture Alliance (AAA) has written, ‘Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future is formally affiliated with GRACE through the Henry Spira/GRACE Project on Industrial Animal Production. Namesake Henry Spira is considered one of the founders of the modern animal rights movement in the U.S. and was a radical opponent of both animal agriculture and life-saving medical research using animals.” AAA also notes the group’s role in creating the video attack on meat production called “The Meatrix.”
Sadly, few media looked behind the smoke and mirrors of the campaign, but comments from readers and viewers were telling, Here are two of my favorites: In the Los Angeles Times, “There should be MEAT ONLY Tuesdays, since the other two macronutrients, carbohydrates and fat, are the ones that contribute to obesity” and , in the left-leaning Huffington Post “George Orwell, you were right!!!”