OUR VIEW: Meatless Mondays? Get seriousSomeone should be fired over this.
Come on, United States Department of Agriculture. Meatless Mondays?
The USDA caused a stir here in farm and ranch country when it recently distributed a newsletter encouraging its employees to participate in “Meatless Mondays” while eating in the agency’s cafeterias.
The newsletter also claimed that meat production has a “large environmental impact” and that employees should “help yourself and the environment” by not eating meat.
When we first heard of this, we were flabbergasted. Our nerves have somewhat settled as the days have passed, but we wonder how a USDA-sponsored memo could possibly condone anything like this. Not only does the newsletter urge USDA employees to avoid meat, but it also makes blatant claims against meat products and even meat producers themselves.
Truly, someone should be fired over this.
Some are just as upset as we are, and U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is one. In one of his recent weekly columns, he wrote that “South Dakota farmers and ranchers deserve an ally in the Department of Agriculture, not an adversary. USDA should be committed to policies, both internally and externally, that support our nation’s food and livestock industry.”
Indeed they should.
This newspaper is produced in Mitchell, S.D., and most everyone who reads it lives in a place that seriously needs the beef/pork/poultry industry to succeed, along with all things farm-related. Our economy thrives when rain regularly falls, when corn grows as high as a giant’s eye and when livestock grow fat and bring good prices at market.
There should be more outrage in Washington over “Meatless Mondays” at the USDA cafeteria.
To better promote beef, pork and poultry, The Daily Republic will immediately put forth a better effort to print recipes based upon those fine products, which mean so much to our local economy.
We do not promise a meat recipe every single week on our food page, but we do vow to promote more dishes made from meats that may have been produced right here in ranch country.
Not eating meat — whether as a life choice or simply on certain days — is a decision that we leave up to all readers. But we are offended that the USDA would make such a suggestion to its employees.