Friday, May 14, 2010

Meatless Mondays find a broader audience

Industry watchdogs have warned for years that animal-rights activists’ real agenda in attacking restaurants is halting the consumption of meat regardless of how its source is raised. By that gauge, the forces of vegetarianism have recruited some potent new allies recently, including the city of San Francisco.

Their rallying cry is Meatless Monday, a program that encourages the public to skip meat at least one day a week. Forging animal protein on Mondays, the advocates argue, will be boon to public health.

That assertion was convincing enough to merit a non-binding resolution from the City by the Bay that restaurants, stores and schools offer only vegetarian options on the first day of the work week. Right now it’s merely a recommendation, not a requirement.

The Meatless Monday movement also got a boost from rockstar chef Mario Batali, who disclosed a few days ago that all 14 of his restaurants will steer customers toward veggie selections on Mondays. At least two meatless options will be offered as specials on those days, the redheaded celebrity explained via the media to his considerable public following.

He’s hardly the only big name proponent of Meatless Monday. Other converts include Al Gore, Simon Cowles and Paul McCartney.
The movement has already won the allegiance of several dozen colleges and all of Baltimore’s schools. Chains have not made a splash by jumping on the bandwagon, but it’s probably just a matter of time.

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