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Letter: Students embrace 'Meatless Mondays'

President Bill Clinton, once known for his love of fast food, has been making headlines for his recent dietary change. He’s swapped the Big Macs and chicken nuggets for veggie burgers, beans and vegetables. After years of battling heart problems, Clinton took his doctor’s advice to reduce his meat consumption. He reports that the results have been tremendous: losing 24 pounds, feeling more energetic and seeing a welcome drop in cholesterol levels.


President Clinton isn’t the only one turning over a new leaf; from Usher, to Oprah Winfrey, to Ellen DeGeneres, to Kristen Bell, people everywhere are eating less meat.


The movement toward more plant-based meals is also taking root on college campuses, with more than 200 universities, including Western Michigan University, leading the charge with “Meatless Monday” campaigns in their dining halls. According to a study conducted by Technomic, over 20 percent of college students are reducing their meat consumption and for good reasons.


One of those reasons is concern for the 9 billion chickens, pigs and other animals raised for food each year, most of whom suffer in factory farms. For example, most egg-laying hens are crammed into tiny cages, each bird granted less space than the screen of an iPad on which to live for her entire life.


Thankfully, eating meatless doesn’t mean “less” at all. It means “more,” as in more choices. It means “better” as in better living — both for us and for animals. From chain restaurants like Chipotle and Denny’s serving up hearty vegetarian fare, to Indian, Thai, Chinese and Mexican cuisine which regularly incorporate delicious meat-free items, the options are endless.



Kenny Torrella

Food Policy Coordinator

The Humane Society of the United States




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