Capitol Hill Nixes Meatless Mondays

Staff Writer
Tensions between environmental groups and the meat industry erupt on Capitol Hill over a Meatless Monday initiative

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

After a one-day trial period, the meat industry has managed to successfully end Capitol Hill’s brief experiment with “Meatless Monday.”

This failed experiment reflects the ongoing war between environmental groups and advocates of the meat industry. The USDA proposed the experiment as a way for employees to easily reduce their environmental impact.

The beef industry immediately responded to the Meatless Monday proposal in outrage, with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President J.D. Alexander speaking out in defense of the agricultural industry. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley even promised to eat more meat on Monday in defiance of the USDA’s suggestions and to spite environmental groups trying to influence behavior inside the U.S. government’s home base.

Where the Congressional Vegetarian Caucus claims that the Capitol Hill cafeterias “should not be a venue for political trade groups to impose their will on the eating habits of government employees,” meat industry representatives insist that Meatless Mondays are a selfish “tool of animal rights and environmental organizations” who seek to denigrate the U.S. meat production system.

As a result of the controversy, the USDA withdrew its suggestion, despite evidence that Meatless Monday initiatives have helped other institutions across the nation to improve their employees’ health and fight global warming.

The Vegetarian Caucuses ability to rebound after the USDA shut down its 2012 Meatless Monday attempt proves that this small defeat in battle in 2013 is unlikely to deter the environmental and animal rights groups from trying to influence their will on Capitol Hill again in the future.

Check out these Meatless Monday Grilling Tips if you’re interested in trying the movement out in your own household. 

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