Baltimore Schools Kick Off Meatless Mondays

October 5, 2009

Meatless Mondays have begun at Baltimore’s public schools. You can walk into the cafeterias on Mondays and there’s no meat whatsoever on the menu. Naturally, the meat industry feels great concern about how this might harm the children.

Despite the fact that childhood obesity is rampant, and the vast majority of kids aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables, the meat industry is doing its best to shit on the Meatless Mondays campaign. Here’s part of a letter that Janet Riley, a Senior Vice President of the American Meat Institute, wrote about the program:

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines have affirmed time and again that meat is an important part of a balanced diet, because it contains vital amino acids and nutrients that are essential for the growing bodies of young adults.

Yep, the usual distortions that if you don’t eat meat, you’re missing an “important part of a balanced diet”. Too bad for Riley that there’s ample evidence that vegan kids can enjoy exceptional health.

Next, Riley offers a Bizarro-world statement that meat consumption reduces obesity; in reality, vegans are consistently shown to be leaner than omnivores:

Additionally, for young adults who are working to maintain a healthy body weight, meat is an important part of the diet because it’s nutrition-dense and helps with a feeling of satiety. We believe that students should be free to choose whether or not they wish to consume meat, instead of simply removing it from the menu and depriving them of that choice.

If I understand correctly, high schools also deprive students of the choice of purchasing from cigarette vending machines. Link.

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