Sen. Thune slams USDA’s ‘Meatless Mondays’John Thune, a U.S. senator from cattle country, was no fan of “Meatless Monday” at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s cafeterias.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
John Thune, a U.S. senator from cattle country, was no fan of “Meatless Monday” at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s cafeterias.
According to Thune’s weekly column distributed Friday, USDA sent an in-house “Greening Headquarters Update” newsletter Monday encouraging employees to participate in “Meatless Mondays” while dining in USDA’s cafeterias.
The newsletter went on to attack the production of meat in the U.S., Thune wrote, by claiming that meat production has “a large environmental impact” and that an employee should “help yourself and the environment” by not eating meat.
“South Dakota farmers and ranchers deserve an ally in the Department of Agriculture, not an adversary,” wrote Thune, R-S.D. “USDA should be committed to policies, both internally and externally, that support our nation’s food and livestock industry.”
Thune signed onto a letter sent by the Senate Western Caucus to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack that asked for clarification as to whether he believes the discouragement of meat consumption in USDA’s facilities reflects the values of the department, and if the department believes its actions have shown support for farmers and ranchers in the midst of a drought.
USDA has since retracted its support for “Meatless Mondays” and removed the newsletter.
“While I was glad to see the department walk back their support, I hope others will join me in continuing to call out the dangerous claims made about the meat production industry, and support the important role ranchers and cattlemen play in our national economy,” Thune said. “I look forward to others joining me over the next several Mondays in supporting the products of farmers and ranchers across South Dakota.”