Meatless Monday is a worldwide movement whose intention is to persuade all people to refrain from eating any form of meat every Monday. According to their website’s homepage, the goal of this organization is to “improve the health of the public and the health of the planet.” This group’s ideas have reached some hospitals, restaurants, and many other public places, but the biggest impact has been made on the lunches that schools are providing for their students.
Some California elementary and grade schools have implemented Meatless Mondays in their weekly lunch menu. This simply means that if you are a student that eats school lunch, whether that be by choice or not, you are being forced to refrain from eating meat at lunch time every Monday. Personally, I do not think that is something that should be forced upon a person. If a person chooses to not consume animal protein and become a vegetarian, that should be his or her own personal choice and that choice should only have an affect on that person’s own diet.
The Illinois Beef Association is an organization that aims to advocate for a profitable and sustainable beef industry in Illinois. The association puts on many events throughout the year that support the production of beef cattle, such as the Beef Expo and other events of that nature. The Hancock Beef Association, which is a smaller part of that larger association, puts on the Cattlemen’s Ball every year. The Cattlemen’s Ball is a fundraiser to help promote the role that cattle play in agriculture. I briefly spoke with the President of this organization, Cody Holst, about the Meatless Mondays movement and he said, “California’s adoption of Meatless Mondays makes me worry about the future of the production of beef cattle and the Illinois Beef Association because both would be nothing without the consumer.”
I also talked to a family friend, who is a doctor, about the issue and she told me that this could potentially have a detrimental effect on people’s health. Obviously, individuals can obtain protein without eating meat, but I learned that it is not the same type of protein. She said, “People who never eat meat do not get a sufficient amount of B12 in their diets because it is a type of protein that can only be found in animal protein. It is a fact that those who do not eat meat simply are not as healthy as those who do because of the issue with B12.” I found that to be interesting, especially since the goal of Meatless Mondays is to make people more healthy.
Animals were put on this Earth as a source of food for humans and as long as they are being raised in a humane and healthy living environment, I do not think we should feel guilty about the production of beef for human consumption, or any meat for that matter.
Hi, my name is Madeline Ward and I am a junior at Western Illinois University. Currently, I’m on the right track to graduate in May of 2019 with a degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in business. I’m from Rushville, Illinois which is a small town about 30 miles south of Macomb. I grew up on my family’s corn and soybean farm. We also raise about 170 head of black angus cattle. After graduation, I hope to be able to continue living near my family’s operation and obtain a job in the field of agriculture.