Letter to the Editor: Go meatless on Mondays to help the planet

Two years ago, GVSU, implemented Meatless Monday, a choice to reduce its carbon footprint, and improve student health, while also reducing the suffering of animals. Today, Meatless Monday is offered at every dining location at GV and it would not be possible without the help of Campus Dining and the great students here.

Why Meatless Monday? First, it helps the environment. Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the climate change panel for the United Nations, is urging citizens of the world to eat less meat: “Give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there.” Even our favorite environmentalist, Al Gore, is eating less meat to help the planet. With a campus population of over 20,000, Grand Valley’s decision to go meatless on Mondays is unprecedented in making a positive impact on the planet and helping the university to go green.

Eating more meat-free meals is also a great way to improve your health. Reducing meat consumption just one day a week can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, type II diabetes, and obesity. It can also help stave off the freshman fifteen, as vegetarians and those who eat less meat typically weigh less. The food is great, too, with options like the Malibu burger, delicious veggie wraps, veggie lasagna, and much more.

Lastly, eating more meat-free meals means helping more animals. Unfortunately, nearly all animals raised for food are crammed into factory farms. Breeding pigs are locked in crates barely larger than their own bodies, unable to even turn around. Egg-laying hens are stuffed into cages so small they have less space than an iPad screen on which to live for their entire lives. But we have the power to stop this by simply eating less meat, which is easier than ever at GV.

At GV we’re fortunate that the university and dining services recognize the importance of student health, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare. They’re doing their part – let’s do ours, too. Every time we sit down to eat, on campus and at home, we can make food choices that help the planet, animals, and our health. Whether you’re a longtime vegan or a diehard meat-eater, everyone can enjoy the delicious meat-free meals offered every Monday. Bon appetit!

Jordan Veenstra
Senior, Biomedical Science major