Back in June, the specter of Meatless Mondays raised its ugly head—of all places—in the Longworth Cafeteria.
For those unfamiliar, that’s the official dining room of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. The cafeteria is operated by the Compass Group, a mega-foodservice company that has allied itself with several sustainable food production initiatives—which, I hasten to add, is a good thing.
But Meatless Mondays? Different story.
MM is a thinly disguised campaign to promote the vegetarian agenda by demonizing producers, meat-eaters and by implication, livestock themselves. If it were merely about healthier eating, the so-called movement would be tolerable as merely another choice to consider among the wealth of diets, nutritional plans, menu choices and culinary options available to modern consumers.
Unfortunately, Meatless Mondays makes meat the enemy and animal agriculture the bad guy.
But you already knew that.
So when “somebody” displayed a sign touting Meatless Mondays in the Longworth Cafeteria—sources at Politico.com claim it was just a single employee who may not even have had authorization to do so—animal ag groups under the banner of the Farm Animal Welfare Coalition fired off a letter to the House Chief Administrative Officer pointing out that “Meatless Mondays is an acknowledged tool of animal rights groups and environmental organizations who seek to publicly denigrate U.S. livestock and poultry production.”
I’d substitute “devastate” or even “destroy” for “denigrate,” but other than that, the FAWC letter was right on target.
I got your ‘tiresome trolls’—right here
The incident prompted a response from Huffington Post columnist Andrew Gunther, which I nominate for Worst Essay of the Week.”
Here’s how he starts out:
“Talk about paranoia: I’ve just read that the catering company which runs the various cafeterias on Capitol Hill is stopping its promotion of ‘Meatless Mondays.’ The reason? An intensive meat-industry front group, the entertainingly named Farm Animal Welfare Coalition, has pressured the catering company to cease supporting Meatless Monday on the basis that the promotion is actually an ‘acknowledged tool of animal rights and environmental organizations,’” Gunther wrote.
“To say I am outraged that the intensive meat industry lobby has successfully managed to stop promoting Meatless Monday because it’s supposedly a campaign run by animal rights activists would be an understatement. And before any of Big Ag’s tiresome trolls try to dismiss me as some vegan fundamentalist, let me make it clear that I am a former poultry farmer and now work as Program Director of one of the country’s leading high-welfare, sustainable farming programs.