USDA ‘meatless Monday’ memo causes PR flap

Suggesting employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture give up meat one day a week was too much for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

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The memo caused a PR flap that briefly pitted the USDA against the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. And if you know anything about the NCBA—Oprah Winfrey, anyone?—you know that you do not mess with the cattlemen.

I wonder if anyone told that to the unsuspecting USDA employee, who posted an internal staff memo that reads:

“One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias is to participate in the ‘Meatless Monday’ initiative … How will going meatless one day of the week help the environment? The production of meat, especially beef (and dairy as well), has a large environmental impact. …. Because Meatless Monday involves only one day a week, it is a small change that could produce big results. Did you notice that our cafeterias have tasty meatless options? So you can really help yourself and the environment while having a good vegetarian meal!”

Meatless Mondays at the USDA? Why what’s next: tobacco-less Tuesdays at Marlboro or Wiener-free Wednesdays at Oscar-Meyer?

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