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The Green Life: A Meaty Uproar

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March 04, 2011

A Meaty Uproar

A meatless meal Hungry students at Bowdoin College were outraged last week when their dining services implemented Meatless Monday, a campaign to cut out meat one day per week to reduce dietary carbon footprints. Despite these students' carnivorious counter-campaign, which included holding a barbecue outside the dining hall, the national campaign has been gaining momentum.

More than 40 major universities are abstaining weekly, in addition to numerous hospitals, restaurants, schools, and entire school districts. Endorsers include the AARP, Al Gore, and Oprah Winfrey, who recently devoted an entire show to food-system issues and went vegan for a week.

Studies show that Monday is the ideal day to switch up a diet; the transition from the weekend to the work week serves as a natural break of routine. Environmentally speaking, each calorie of feedlot beef requires 40 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce; the ratio for plant-based foods is much lower.

At Bowdoin, the anger was directed at the Bowdoin College Democrats who initiated the campaign, with some calling it an "assault on choice." A columnist for the student newspaper, The Bowdoin Orient, defended the idea by saying that the dining service decided on meat-free Mondays "not to advance the autocratic liberal bourgeois agenda (whatever that means)."

Tell us your opinion: Should students have to approve the choice to go meatless once a week?

--Rosie Spinks

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