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Posted on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 6:53 p.m.

January is the perfect time to start skipping meat each Monday

By Letters to the Editor

As we ring in the New Year and write down our resolutions to make the world a better place, we can start our lists off with eating less meat and participating in “Meatless Mondays” for a cooler planet.

Eating less meat is a simple solution to mitigating climate change, which is why it’s supported in such varied circles as climate scientists, environmental nonprofits, celebrities like Oprah and Sir Paul McCartney, and tens of millions of Americans actively reducing their meat consumption. Even 2,400 schools and hospitals have embraced Meatless Monday in their cafeterias, including Ann Arbor Public Schools.

While we don’t know what will happen in 2013 to combat climate change by world leaders, we can take steps for a more sustainable Earth each time we eat by simply choosing more meat-free foods, and January 2013 sounds as good a day as any to get started.

Phil Letten




Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

I have such low self identity that I must do/copy what celebrities do/say so that I will not be socially shunned. No ..Wait I'm normal GFY.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

Oprah and Sir Paul McCartney? Are you for real? I should do it because some celebrities do it? A reduction in celebrity worship would do a lot more good for the people of this planet than any dietary changes will.

Superior Twp voter

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

Such drivel. Pap. And to cite Oprah? Priceless.... Meaty Mondays just became standard fare here.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

What hypocrisy. Being a modern vegetarian is as damaging to the environment as any other lifestyle choice. You could not be a vegetarian a hundred years ago and expect to survive into old age with any sort of regularity (that's to take care of those who are chomping at the bit to provide their one-off example of some Tibetan monk who lived to 120). Lacking refrigeration and the ability to ship a variety of vegetables from long distances (not much quinoa in Kansas), you'd develop some form of vitamin deficiency and be left to the wayside. You certainly wouldn't be much help to your family or town, as you'd be weak and undernourished. Fast forward to 2013, where the vegetarian lifestyle requires daily flights from Chile to bring in off-season fruits and vegetables, massive industrial "farms" who can thank Monsanto more than they can thank "mom and pop" for the fruits of the land, and a massive system of truck distribution (complete with refrigerants) to bring your "fresh vegetables" right to your local Whole Foods, ready to go into your little jute bag that screams "Look how much I love the Earth, I'm willing to spend my whole paycheck on it!" Ya. But being a vegetarian allows you to look down your nose at the rest of us swarthy meat eaters, confident in the self-taught belief that what you're doing is good for the whole planet. Or at least, good enough for a self-congratulatory pat on your own back. Let's call a spade a spade: You aren't eating carrots and lettuce you grew in the back yard of your 4th Ward self-sustaining microgarden. You aren't eating only locally produced veggies on a seasonal basis. You just aren't eating meat, and wagging your finger at the rest of us for not following your lifestyle choice.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 1:49 a.m.

Sarah- Kudos to you :) I'm not a veggie myself, but I know quite a few and only a couple do what you do. Even as a meat eater, I try to only eat local produce and am very picky about the meat I eat. It's always refreshing to know that other people take on the proper care too.

Sarah Rigg

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

I'm a vegetarian and I actually don't eat many fruits or vegetables flown in from Peru. I get a farm share from a local farm in MIlan and go to U-pick farms locally for berries. I then sock away a lot of produce in the freezer (or dry some items), keep root vegetables in a cool, dark place, and eat local all the way into February, usually.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

good. Keep your "good habits" to yourself. Why do you need to promote what you think is the best way? So you go through life thinking you are better than others, because of this choice? Get over yourself.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

Eat more venison and help prevent car / deer accidents!

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

My diet is filled w plenty of venison; however, I occasionally experiment with the meatless Monday effort in the summer/fall months when I can buy locally grown produce. I'd rather eat a meal during the winter months that is centered around meat harvested from an animal locally than a head of lettuce that travels thousands of miles across international borders. Obviously one's diet is a very personal choice and I commend those who have committed to certain diet decisions for their life regardless of the reason.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

The real problem I have with venison, venison jerky inparticular is keeping it away from your stupid buddy ( my stupid dog )


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

Looks like "O" could skip a few meals and maybe do a little fasting, along with maybe both her and Paul not flying their 737 and consuming 1,000's of gallons in fuel on global trots could that possibly help global climate change? I'll eat whenever or whatever thank you very much.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

The real environmental crime is the agrarian monocultures that require industrial herbicides, pesticides, natural gas derived fertilizers, and tremendous amounts of diesel-powered machinery to exist when we could be enjoying healthy pastured meat from nearly self-sufficient family farms. Cows eat grass, cows fertilize grass. It's nature's way. Were the herds buffalo "bad" for the environment? Joel Salatin spells it out in his books. But instead of these robust and diverse farms we have field after field of corn that is death for wildlife and pollute our waterways. And small farmers get shut down by our government, like the DNR's persecution of Baker's Green Acres. Makes no sense. To top it off, vegetarians miss several critical B vitamins such as B-12. In some cases that causes mental health issues. The Sandy Hook shooter, for example, was a vegan. The lack of healthy animal fats makes building healthy brains challenging too.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

Well if Oprah does it... Thanks for your opinion. I don't agree with it, but thanks. There is much we can, and should do, to make this a better place. This is so far down the list Santo not be on it.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

Soylent Green revisited.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

Note to self: Monday breakfast, smoked ham,smoked bacon,eggs.Lunch, 2 Big Macs, fries.Dinner, large serving of baby seal, side of panda all flown in via Oprah's or Sir Paul McCartney's private jets


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 8:06 a.m.

Instead, I'll eat quinoa and as


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 8:07 a.m.

...asparagus flown in from Peru. Yeah.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 5:02 a.m.

That our society and world order will accommodate and implement the necessary changes that would actually have any significant affect upon climate before we make our water and air intolerable, is an illusion. The damage will only reverse itself after the human race is purged from the eco system. Our lifestyles are supported by more and more finite resources that require more and more eco damaging processes needed to retrieve and deliver them for consumption. But if it makes you feel better to skip meat for a day then go for it.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Have you made your daily sacrifice to Gaia?


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 4:12 a.m.

Monday is now steak night.

buvda fray

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:56 a.m.

Uh, this is a really stupid idea.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:24 a.m.

No need to skip meat. Just buy the right meat - grass fed with no antibiotics from a trusted source like Lamb Farm down in Manchester. Meat is not evil but the way it is commercially raised is a crime and if Obama really cared about our food supply he would do something about it.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 4:30 a.m.

Agreed. I'm also waiting for our gov't to require cloned meat to be marked as such since we don't know the effects of eating cloned meat or whether cloning is completely safe. Other countries require it, but not the US. The US does not produce food or package food in a good manner at all... And yes, I sound weird talking about cloned meat, but it's a thing. Really.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:22 a.m.

For those not yet convinced but with an open mind, see: (reading just the shaded areas in the front of the article gives a good overview). There are numerous other reliable references out there for those willing to take the time to learn about this.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

@US, yes, yes I do. What is your point? Being the Internet, finding studies or other data to support one's position is easy these days, if such studies or data exist. @tdw supplied nothing (certainly not a "reason" as you claimed), unlike my posting. Ergo, cheap shot.

Unusual Suspect

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

You realize this is the Internet, right?


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 4:59 p.m.

@US, and the reason is....what? Do you think replying "silly science" with no other explanation is a reason? @tdw didn't give a reason, s/he gave an unsupported characterization of the links I supplied. I don't ask for much, only a rational reason for someone to disagree with me if that should be the case. I provided reputable links with sound (not "silly") science contained within; I expect the same in return. Otherwise, they're just cheap potshots.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

He was nice enough to give you the reason for his thumbs-down. You don't ask for much do you?


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 8:57 p.m.

@tdw, do you have a cogent counterargument, or any links to reputable sites that refute the information in the links I provided? If not, I don't see the point of your "reply" (such as it is).


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

I don't give thumbs down without a reply ( that is when there are already thumbs down with no reply's ) so....silly science


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:56 a.m.

Meatless ???? more like " mindless "...Sheeple speak.....duh....


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:30 a.m.

Oprah and Sir Paul McCartney. Lol!


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:03 a.m.

"January 2013 sounds as good a day as any to get started" No thanks, I think I'll wait until the day of March 2014.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:56 a.m.

What a load of unmitigated crap. Just the other day, as I was driving along, following a Prius with the requisite "green" bumper stickers, when lo and behold, the driver AND passenger both threw cigarette butts out the windows. I have studied weather and climate for quite a number of years and have found absolutely NO correlation between meat and climate change. Nor have I found any direct correlation between any form of industry and climate change. Air, water and soil pollution to be sure, but nothing indicates carbon dioxide from industrial sources has caused today's climate changes. There is ample evidence that points to climate changes being caused by subtle-and periodic-shifts in ocean currents. Remember, the earth is two thirds covered by water. There are fewer large mammals today on the continent than ever, yet the climate change folks want us to swear off meat? Not here.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:35 a.m.

Here's a correlation: ...and no one asked you to swear off meat.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:43 a.m.

Wait a second... How does skipping meat help stop climate change?


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

Homeland- Regardless, one day is not going to change anything unless we stop production on that day as well. Not eating it for one day just means that at home we're using a little less cooking supplies (but that's a big maybe since vegetarian meals can be just as involved as meaty ones). Besides, the cow emissions thing has been debunked several times since the initial thought. Here is one of the articles on it: Besides, if that was really the case, it would be to slaughter off all the cows right away. That way despite them being extinct, they would be helping the environment.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Are these the same Japanese that are fishing tuna to extinction?

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

Agriculture is responsible for an estimated 14 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. A significant portion of these emissions come from methane, which, in terms of its contribution to global warming, is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The U.S. Food and Agriculture Organization says that agricultural methane output could increase by 60 percent by 2030 [Source: Times Online]. The world's 1.5 billion cows and billions of other grazing animals emit dozens of polluting gases, including lots of methane. Two-thirds of all ammonia comes from cows. This isn't a study from Japan...


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 4:26 a.m.

Interesting. So, the Japanese found out that Catholics obtaining from meat on Fridays also has a scientific value as well as religious. I know some Catholics who are going to be questioning whether or not they should keep skipping meat on Friday... But no, in seriousness, just missing one day of meat isn't going to help stop half those emissions. It would have to be something more than that, including the stopping of production.

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:11 a.m.

A Japanese study showed that producing a kilogram of beef leads to the emission of greenhouse gases with a global warming potential equivalent to 36.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2). It also releases fertilising compounds equivalent to 340 grams of sulphur dioxide and 59 grams of phosphate, and consumes 169 megajoules of energy (Animal Science Journal, DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2007.00457.x). In other words, a kilogram of beef is responsible for the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car every 250 kilometres, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days (New Scientist magazine, 18 July 2007, page 15 ).

Dog Guy

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.

I remember when Friday school lunches were meatless, but not alliterative.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 12:31 a.m.

No way, I need meat everyday, part of a healthy diet . Skip the sugar and alcohol


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

Your comments are being downvoted by the Vegan "better than you are" crowd.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

Thank you Paul! Very true. Meat is an excellent source of protein which is needed for a healthy diet.