Guest Post: Meatless Monday Murderers? Chico State students not stoked for Meatless Monday!   »

A few weeks back, someone in the USDA sent out a newsletter that seemed to favor the latest push to wean Americans off of their meat addiction, Meatless Mondays. But as soon as the proverbial ink dried on this newsletter, the clowns in the meat industry cried louder than the millions of livestock they brutally slaughter everyday, claiming this new fangled Meatless Monday was a detriment to the farmers of our fine country. The idea behind USDA’s Meatless Monday was part of a “green” initiative, not so much a diet. Their endorsement of Meatless Mondays was meant as a push to lower the ecological footprint. Well…how dare they.

The outcry from the middle states, the ones with right-angle-borders and no indoor plumbing, makes some sense. But here, in my supposedly progressive state of California, we’re having a similar issue. California State University, Chico, may be the latest school to participate in Meatless Monday. However, the school’s agricultural department, both students and instructors it seems, are taking to the school’s Facebook page to voice their displeasure over the decision to being part of a Meatless Monday campaign. 

Seems not-so-shocking, right? An agricultural department not wanting to be part of an event that caters to consumption of…agriculture. But it gets worse. Chico is like many Cal State schools that has multiple areas where students can find food. This Meatless Monday event is only going to take place in ONE dining hall, Sutter Hall, where only ONE of the five food stations would be serving meat-free dishes on ONE of five days of the school week. Whole lotta ones.

This Tuesday, October 9th, there will be a Meatless Monday meeting held on Chico’s campus at 5:30 PM in BMU 209. The Humane Society of the United States will be on hand talking about the Farm-Animal Rights Movement as well as the Meatless Monday campaign. If you or anyone you know lives or works near Chico, I encourage you to voice your support. Both in terms of a greener planet and healthier diets, we have to crawl before we can cartwheel off the pommel horse. Bullies like the Ag Department at Chico and the meat industry on the national level will do anything to stop us from crawling. And are proud to do so. Just take a look at these comments:

And now I’m off to grab a hamburger. 

Courtesy of Jennifer Ryder Fox, Dean of CSUC School of Agricultural. This is how she signed off on an e-mail to all the agricultural students where she stated she was appalled by the school’s decision to include Meatless Mondays. She also went on to say:

…which was clearly influenced by the Humane Society of the United States, who uses its cover of a caring, moderate animal welfare organization to advance its true mission of ending animal agriculture.

Right. Now let’s mirror that to the comments made on Twitter by Iowa Senator Charles Grassley after USDA pulled their newsletter:

I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt (sic) a meatless Monday.

Perhaps the Dean and the Senator should hook up on LinkedIn.

Visit Chico for Animal Rights FB page to learn more about AR efforts on campus. 

Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, Calif. He co-created and contributes to Rhode Island-based hip-hop website The Echo Chamber Blog under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.


Guest post: Dorm-friendly vegan options!  »

Living in a dorm comes with the convenience of making friends with your neighbors and beginning to forge a more independent life. But being away from home often means reliance on school-designed meal plans that don’t always suit everyone’s dietary needs, such as vegans. You may have to learn how to cook, or improve skills you developed before you met your new roommate. Cooking in a dorm room can be pretty simple, especially if you have a microwave, mini-fridge, or toaster oven. Snacks from vending machines are good for treats and staving off late-night hunger, but it’s also important for busy students to have some options for meals.

Though many universities are listening to students’ needs and beginning to offer a wider selection of foods on menus, including vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options, you’ll still want a few items that you can prepare in your dorm room. Meal halls have set hours with which your hunger might not comply. Here are some ideas for quick foods you can make in your room.

If you have a mini-fridge
Try mini pizzas. Use Ritz crackers, a dollop of pizza sauce, and a few chopped vegetables like green bell pepper or mushroom. Combine and sprinkle with nutritional yeast for a taste similar to Parmesan cheese. Enjoy with a spinach salad. (Annie’s Naturals has a nice selection of vegan salad dressings.)

If you have a microwave
For a nice treat in the evening, try microwaving fruit (any kind of fruit you like, from sliced bananas to diced peaches) and top it with a couple tablespoons of granola (which can be dressed up with any number of vegan-friendly ingredients, like dried fruit). It’s a little like eating a decadent cobbler without the calories, the mess, or the need for an oven. Best of all, it only takes a minute or so to make. If you have a mini-fridge with a freezer, pick up some vegan ice cream (Rice Dream has a variety of flavors) and add a couple spoonfuls to your quick dessert.

If you have a toaster oven
Roasted soy nuts are a healthy and delicious snack that you can make as an appetizer or snack. Pick up soybeans at any health food store, rinse to clean, and soak them for at least eight hours. Drain, line the toaster oven tray with foil, and spread the soybeans out in one layer. Stir the soybeans around after about 15 minutes and monitor for the next 15. (Total roasting time should be about 30 minutes.) Cool and garnish with a sprinkle of sea salt, cumin and chili powder, or just some black pepper. Store in a plastic bag and you’ll have it with you to snack on between classes.

Planning vegan meals and snacks takes a little planning and the willingness to pick up a few necessary ingredients from a grocery store or farmers’ market, but the effort will be worth it. Supplement that meal plan fare with your own choice of foods that are sure to please even the pickiest vegan palate.

Danielle is a hippie at heart who strives to consider Mama Earth in all decisions. Read her blog about healthy living, active lifestyles, and sustainability on Eat Breathe Blog.

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