We applaud Sodexo’s Meatless Monday initiative while holding reservations. Most troubling is the program’s name. A greater misnomer would be hard to find. Despite what Meatless Monday seems to so plainly mean, step into your local campus dining hall this Monday, and meat options you will find.
I.D.E.A.S. approached Sodexo officials about implementing Meatless Mondays, and we’re thrilled Sodexo took I.D.E.A.S. seriously. Dining halls now boast two additional vegetarian entree options on Mondays.
That’s great. We’re all for vegetarian options. In fact, we like to think Pipe Dream played a role in the process. In these pages last semester, our Editorial Board advocated for Meatless Mondays.
Then, we highlighted the environmental benefits of eliminating meat from your diet once a week. What was true then remains so; the meat industry’s practices are unsustainable and wrong.
Encouraging students to embrace vegetarian options is a noble move. But why call it “meatless” if meat will still be served? Is this a stage in a larger trajectory that aims to eliminate meat entirely on Mondays? I.D.E.A.S. told Pipe Dream about a proposal they had to possibly expand the program in a few years, making it so that one dining hall per week would be totally meatless on a rotating basis. This is the kind of small change we should be making, an actual weekly commitment to being meat-free. It’s the kind of adjustment that even carnivores could swallow.
More variety and more choices couldn’t hurt, and undoubtedly, having more meatless options will sway a number of Sodexo diners to forgo their burgers once a week for some hearty vegetarian options. We’re in full support of this initiative, but we sincerely hope that this is the beginning and not the end.