Children's Health And The Meat Industry
By Christina Perillo
When did our children become disposable?
This loaded question was posed around the conference table in Anthony Geraci's sunny office at the Baltimore School District headquarters as a group of us talked about programs designed to help our kids make healthier choices in their lives, beginning with the food they eat.
As Food Service Director, Tony has worked closely with the district's dietician to make systemic changes that have resulted in the kids in Baltimore schools trying new foods and slowly becoming more health conscious. But it has not been without controversy and therein was the question we posed.
When school began in September, the kids of Baltimore became the first in the country to adopt 'Meatless Mondays, an international program that asks people to cut meat from their diet one day a week. Their goal is simple: reducing meat consumption by a mere 15% can improve human and planetary health. Endorsed by esteemed medical institutions like the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, this seems like a no-brainer, right? Impressed with the credentials and the program, Baltimore decided to take part and see what would happen. I'm not sure anyone was ready for the firestorm of attacks being launched at them by the meat industry.
Meatless Mondays is a positive program designed to educate our children to be healthier for life and is being attacked from all sides. Troy Hadrick, a rancher, wrote on the Advocates for Agriculture website that Meatless Mondays are obviously designed to push children toward vegetarian lifestyles by telling them that 'they can't have meat on Monday because meat isn't healthy for you.' He goes on to advocate parents doing whatever it takes to keep this information from their children. Yikes! Read More
I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that the vegan/vegetarians would come out and try to vilify me for advocating that students in Baltimore be fed a balanced diet. Even though our good friend Trent Loos discovered that this situation may have been less of a story that we previously thought, it doesn’t take away from the fact that those of us advocating for a balanced diet which includes meat and dairy products are being targeted. It’s disappointing that since I disagreed with this writer that she thinks I believe children are disposable. I would love to teach her more about raising livestock since she considers me evil for doing it, but she would rather question my integrity than have a reasonable discussion. ~TH