PoliZette

Global Warming Activists’ New Target: Meat

City resolution forces 'Meatless Monday' on Indianapolis for 'the health of the planet'

In a resolution that seems more suitable for a liberal college town like Berkeley, California, the Indianapolis City-County Council voted for a resolution to make Mondays “meatless.”

The resolution, passed on Dec. 5, encouraging Indianapolis and Marion County citizens to go without any meat products on Mondays was backed by vegetarian and environmentalist activists.

“It’s about healthy eating, so they say. And, you know, it’s really this carbon footprint, saving-the-environment nonsense.”

The advocacy group Meatless Monday, which helped pass the resolution and describes itself as a “global movement,” said its goal was to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent “for our personal health and the health of the planet.”

The news of the Indianapolis resolution was not widely reported by Indiana media. But eventually word filtered out through social media and talk radio, angering many in the conservative-leaning Hoosier State. One conservative talk-show host reminded his audience the same council wants a pay raise.

“In the same time they were having this conversation about [pay] raises … they also voted for Meatless Monday,” said Tony Katz, a talk-show host in Indianapolis. “It’s about healthy eating, so they say. And, you know, it’s really this carbon footprint, saving-the-environment nonsense.”

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A statement from the Indiana Animal Rights Alliance seems to confirm Katz’s suspicions the resolution is all about “saving-the-environment nonsense.” The group suggested the primary objective of the measure was “to reduce the city’s environmental footprint and raise awareness about healthy eating. This resolution reflects the national movement toward reducing or eliminating animal products from diets for the benefit of animals, the environment, and our health.”

The association claims that by going meatless once a week, people can “reduce their carbon footprint by more than eight pounds per day, as much as not driving for two days; reduce their saturated fat intake by about 15 percent per meatless meal; reduce their risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; and save approximately 28 land animals and 175 aquatic animals per year.”

[lz_table title=”U.S. Meat Industry in 2013″ source=”U.S. Meat Institute”]
|Meat and poultry industry
8.6 billion chickens
33.2 million cattle
239.4 million turkeys
2.3 million sheep and lambs
112 million hogs
[/lz_table]

Meatless Monday, founded in 2003, may be bringing together animal-rights groups and environmental groups, two political factions that sympathized with each other for years but didn’t quite have the same goals. Now, the politicization of global warming has brought them together. Advocates of going without meat say the production of steaks and chicken breasts contributes heavily to global warming. It’s now a key selling point among vegans and vegetarians — one climate activists are happy to share.

The connection of the Meatless Monday initiative to former New York City Mayor and activist donor Michael Bloomberg is a representation of how the dual issues of diet politics and global warming activism have been combined by liberals.

The Meatless Monday program is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns; it works in collaboration with the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Bloomberg ran campaigns against soda and smoking while mayor, becoming perhaps the most famous purveyor of the “Nanny State” in American politics.

Bloomberg is also a major contributor to some of the Left’s most radical anti-energy causes. The billionaire has pledged over $30 million to the “Beyond Coal” initiative of the Sierra Club. The environmentalist campaign targets coal-fired power plants, and the thousands of jobs they support, with slick public affairs offensives and costly lawsuits.

And much like how “Beyond Coal” wreaks havoc on local communities dependent on coal jobs, Katz is concerned the Indianapolis resolution could harm local businesses in Indiana.

“You know how many steak places we have in downtown Indianapolis?” asked Katz. “Thirteen. All built to handle the growing convention business of Indianapolis. I wonder how they feel? Can I get word from St. Elmo (Steak House)? Or Morton’s?”

meet the author

Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.