Baltimore Schools Embrace Anti-Meat Movement with ‘Meatless Mondays’
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer
(CNSNews.com) – The first graders lining up for lunch at Arlington Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., on Monday could pick a cheese sandwich or cheese lasagna and a bowl of mixed vegetables or broccoli. They could not, however, have meat for lunch now that cafeterias throughout the school district have adopted "Meatless Mondays."
Mellissa Mahoney, a chef and dietitian with the school district, said the idea started as part of a themed-approach to planning lunches for the school year. She said the plan changed after representatives from the Meatless Monday movement approached Mahoney and Food Services Director Tony Geraci.
“They met with us over the summer, before we even launched the new menu,” Mahoney told CNSNews.com. She said at first they didn’t realize that Meatless Monday is a national and international movement with ties to extreme animal rights activists. “We know now what they do, and we have collaborated with them,” Mahoney said.
J. Patrick Boyle, president and CEO of the American Meat Institute, sent a letter last week to Andres A. Alonso, CEO of the Baltimore City Schools, urging him to drop “Meatless Mondays” on campuses.
“I was disturbed to read about your school system’s decision to bow to an animal rights organization in holding ‘Meat Free Mondays,’” Boyle wrote. “This initiative is sponsored by the Grace Spira Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The name Spira refers to Henry Spira, who is widely regarded as one of the most extreme animal rights activists of the 20th century.”
When children at the table were asked if they liked the idea of “Meatless Monday,” one first grader was not shy about giving his opinion.
“No, because I love meat,” he said. Read More
Here is an update on the Baltimore School System’s decision to have meatless Mondays. The school’s chef that made the decision is now trying to play dumb by saying she didn’t know anything about the groups that were pushing this agenda. It’s also obvious that their goals are to continue pushing toward vegetarian lifestyles because they are telling the students that they can’t have meat on Monday because meat isn’t healthy for you. If anything, this should reinforce the need for those of us in agriculture to be active in our local schools. Whether it’s reading an accurate ag book to a classroom or running for the school board, we need to be there to make sure our kids are learning the truth about food production and eating healthy balanced diets.