The USDA has declared that an article in a newsletter promoting “Meatless Monday” for its employees did not receive “proper clearance.”
Kansas Senator Jerry Moran took to the Senate floor to criticize the concept, noting that Kansas is a meat producing state, and the Department of Agriculture’s purpose should be to promote agricultural products like meat.
The article did promote vegetarianism as healthier and better for the environment, which it is, but isn’t this a case of everyone getting a little too upset over next to nothing?
It is not as if the USDA suggested that its employees should fast on Monday. Meat is going to be replaced by vegetables, grains and fruits. Those foods also happen to be agricultural products and a few are even grown in Kansas.
Nevertheless, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association saw past the “Meatless Monday” ploy and envisions a bigger conspiracy. They issued a statement claiming that this is “an extremist campaign to ultimately end meat production.”
Really? That raises questions if the cattlemen are injecting themselves with some of the hormones they are putting into cattle. These guys are on a super-charged hyperbole.
Instead of a “Meatless Monday,” the promotion would have been better served if good-tasting vegetarian meals were available in the employee cafeteria. Perhaps they are. Perhaps the selection should be expanded. Giving people choices is what the USDA should be doing, not limiting them. In that way, Moran is right. To assert as the Cattlemen’s Association has done that this is part of a grand conspiracy to turn Americans into vegetarians is hard to swallow.
The “Meatless Monday” idea is poorly conceived. That is certain, but that doesn’t mean that every time a bad idea comes along that someone has to put on a tin foil, pointy hat and warn that the sky is falling.