An attempt to convince the student governing body at UNL to promote Meatless Mondays on campus has been defeated, thanks to the efforts of a group of agricultural students.
Bryce Doeschot with UNL’s Collegiate Farm Bureau group says when the group heard about the Meatless Mondays’ resolution, members helped organize a coalition of more than 100 students to attend this week’s student senate meeting.
“A bunch of students in agriculture were definitely interested in protecting our heritage and said, ‘no, we do not stand for such a thing’,” Doeschot says. “So we showed up big at the ASUN meeting and made our point-and, thankfully, it did fail.”
The Meatless Mondays’ resolution was proposed by the Environmental Sustainability Committee of the Association for Students at UNL. Doeschot says committee members didn’t seem to have a strong environmental or animal rights agenda. He says they were basically misinformed.
“Their push behind it was the carbon footprint that beef and other livestock are contributing to the world. They just looked at that and said, ‘Oh, if we take away meat from all the cafeterias-or at least promote that with student dollars-we can contribute to less of that’,” Doeschot says. “They didn’t really do the full research and didn’t understand the harmful impact that could have.”
One of those speaking against the resolution was sophomore animal science major Ashtyn Shrewsbury.
“The student government’s proposal for a Meatless Monday had me baffled,” Shrewsbury said. “We are a land grant university, whose mission, as set forth in the Morrill Act of 1862, is to focus on the teaching of agriculture. Not only is agriculture the backbone of this university, it is the backbone of this state.”
In presenting their case, Doeschot says the agricultural students used a combination of facts and personal stories about livestock production. In the end, he says, the Student Senate voted down the proposed resolution with a clear majority vote.
Meatless Mondays is a global initiative encouraging people to stop eating meat on Mondays.
By Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News