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AMI's Riley Tells Lou Dobbs that Meatless Monday Campaign Denies Students, Parents Freedom of Choice, Important Nutritional Options

Monday, October 19, 2009

(American Meat Institute)

AMI Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Janet Riley during an appearance on CNN’s “Lou Dobb’s Tonight” yesterday criticized the Baltimore City Schools’ adoption of the “Meatless Monday” campaign, a program done in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Under this program, students in Baltimore have a vegetarian-only option on Mondays.

The Bloomberg School is also home to the Center for a Livable Future and the Grace Spira Project  named for the late animal rights activist Henry Spira.  The Meatless Monday campaign  seeks to link meat and poultry consumption to reduced public health and environmental harm.

While the Meatless Monday campaign claims their effort is part of an “education” effort for school children, Riley told Lou Dobbs that it was more aptly called “indoctrination.”  Riley said that by taking meat completely off of the menu one day a week, the school district was denying students the freedom of choice.  “I am not suggesting that every child be forced to eat meat every day,” said Riley.  “What I am suggesting is that children and parents should have the ability to choose what they want to eat,” she added.

Riley pointed out that the meat and poultry included in the school lunch program might be the only source of protein some kids get during the day, since three-fourths of the children in Baltimore qualify for free and reduced breakfasts and lunches.  She also noted that seventy-five percent of school children are already not getting enough protein in their diets according to federal data.

Baltimore’s decision to adopt “Meatless Mondays” has been embraced by the radical animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which presented the school district with its “Proggy Award,” given to recognize “animal friendly achievement.” 

To view the video segment, click here: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2009/10/20/sylvester.meat.mondays.cnn

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