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THE TROUBLE WITH MEATLESS MONDAYS

Kay Johnson SmithDear <<First Name>>,

Don’t believe the hype.

The Meatless Monday campaign isn’t about celebrating the role that fruits and veggies play as part of a healthy diet.

It’s a movement to discredit the healthfulness of meat, milk, and eggs in an extreme quest to convert our nation into vegans, one small step at a time.

(Interestingly enough, its key messages are eerily similar to “The Great American Meatout”, the anti-animal agriculture effort that Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm got mixed up with last March.)

The campaign is promoted by the GRACE project- of “Meatrix” fame- and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.  Collectively, these two groups receive more than $2 million each year from benefactor Helaine Lerner in order to aggressively attack the animal agriculture industry while promoting an animal rights agenda.

Last year’s decision by the Baltimore school district to incorporate Meatless Mondays into the school lunch program shows that children are one of their biggest targets.

Extremists have been able to capitalize on what was once seen as a patriotic tradition- going without staples such as meat or sugar during times of war- and turn it into a full-on misinformation movement. The ease at which this campaign has been accepted in the media is shocking.

It’s equally unbelievable that celebrity chefs- such as Mario Batali, who has a well-known love of  meat- have stepped up to add credibility to the campaign by adding Meatless Mondays entrees to their restaurant menus.

We can’t just shrug off Meatless Mondays as a passing fad.

It’s true that Americans certainly love meat- fewer than 3 percent of us are self-proclaimed vegetarians, after all. Even still, during this New Year, we need to find new and innovative ways to help consumers understand the economic, nutritional, and environmental benefits of livestock production.


-Kay Johnson Smith, Executive Vice President


Mark Your Calendar- Our 10th Annual Summit is May 5-6!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Alliance in the News
2. Animal Welfare
3. Activist Watch
4. Science Updates
5. Legal/Legislative


1. Alliance in the News

Review Your Farm Security Policies
Pork Magazine
The Alliance offers five tips for farm and facility managers to prevent undercover activists from infiltrating their business.

Alliance Helps State Legislators Understand Challenges Facing Agriculture
Animal Agriculture Alliance
In January, Animal Agriculture Alliance Executive Vice President Kay Johnson Smith warned elected agriculture and rural leaders from across North America about the threats to animal agriculture at the 10th Annual State Legislative Agriculture Chairs Summit, held in Fort McDowell, Ariz.  

This Year, Resolve to Thank Farmers
Food and Beverage Journal
Alliance Communications Director Sarah Hubbart shared a few reasons to support food producers in the coming year. Maintaining our nation's food security will be critical to our future success.


Alliance Seeking Summer Intern Candidates
Animal Agriculture Alliance
Are you a college student with strong writing skills and an interest in agriculture advocacy? Apply to be a summer intern at the Alliance as help us educate others about the importance of animal agriculture!


2. Animal Welfare

Smithfield Rights A Wrong, HSUS Wrongs A Right
Pork Network
Smithfield Foods has taken appropriate steps to fix any problems alleged by an HSUS activist’s undercover video.  HSUS refused to release the full, unedited footage, making the process more difficult for Smithfield.

Hen Housing an ‘Emotional Issue’

Feedstuffs
Dr. Michael S. Lilburn, President of the Poultry Science Association, said there is no scientific basis for suggesting cage-free housing is superior to caged housing.

Animal care important to MN’s ‘Good Farm Neighbors’
Pork Network
Two pork-producing families were named 2010 winners of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Good Farm Neighbor Award.

New OSU Position to Promote Care Board Recommendations
Farm and Dairy
John Grimes was appointed as Ohio State University’s new OSU Extension Beef Coordinator. The position will help promote recommendations by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.



3. Activist Watch

Can HSUS Be Trusted?

SportsYakima.com
This interesting analysis of the tactics that HSUS uses to gain credibility among outdoor enthusiasts compares the motives of HSUS with the Wild Fish Conservancy, a group that is forthright about its agenda.

PETA Sues University of Utah for Animal Research
Deseret News
After obtaining “undercover” video footage from within a school research facility, PETA has filed a lawsuit against the university requesting information about the program. The school said that its labs are frequently inspected.

Paul McCartney Asks Indian Prime Minister for Meatless Monday
Cattlenetwork
Long-time animal rights activist Paul McCartney sent a letter to India’s prime minister asking the country to go meat-free one day per week for at least one year. McCartney has past narrated an anti-animal agriculture video for PETA.

HSUS is a School Yard Bully
BEEF Online
Frank Losey, an attorney for dog breeders, told attendees at the Summit of the Horse that “HSUS has demonstrated an ability to destroy the image of so many wonderful and caring people. They have deceived the American public.”

Amerijet Stands Strong
Speaking of Research
A recent animal rights letter writing campaign targeted the airline Amerijet, which transports animals for the use in lifesaving medical research. Amerijet didn’t cave to the pressure, instead  standing up for its role in ensuring that transport is done as humanely as possible.

HSUS Claims It's Not 'Anti-Agriculture'

AgWeb
Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of HSUS, sat down with an agriculture reporter during this informative three-part video series. He claims that his organization is not anti-agriculture- even though the group's past actions have attempted to demonize the entire industry.

Activist Group Sues USDA Over Food Pyramid
Baltimore Sun
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an extremist group with ties to PETA, has sued the USDA after it failed to consider the group’s vegan “Power Plate” nutritional guidelines. Many people falsely believe that the PCRM is a legitimate organization for health professionals.


4. Science Updates

Lactoferrin Reduces Breast Cancer Cells
Feedstuffs
Researchers have discovered that lactoferrin, a whey protein found in milk, could help fight breast cancer. Portuguese researchers from the Journal of Dairy Science found that breast cancer cells treated with lactoferrin decreased and reduced the growth rates of cancer cells.

Antibiotics in Animals & People Webinar Now Online
Drovers
Jim Pettigrew, University of Illinois Animal Sciences Professor and Federation of Animal Science Societies member, hosted a webinar titled, “Antibiotics in Animals and People" that discussed many aspects of the use of antibiotics in animals.

Report Warns U.S. Unprepared for Agroterrorism
Meatingplace
A study conducted by non-profit Trust for America’s Health found that the U.S. is not prepared for agroterrorism or foodborne, animal-borne or water-borne diseases. The startling report shows that the U.S. is not as prepared as it should be if an attack were to occur.  

Animal Agriculture’s Role in Sustainable Food Production
Brownfield
Wendell Knehans, Novus International Product Manager Director, discussed the importance of animal welfare and nutrition, as well as the role that the company has in feeding the world and improving quality of life.

U.S. Ag Research In Decline
Pork Network
 Recent findings have shown a decrease in the amount of agricultural research being performed in the United States. Research related to improving food production does not seem to be a high priority for lawmakers today.


5. Legal/Legislative

Fighting Ballot Measures a Bad Idea?   
Feedstuffs
In a recent study conducted at Oklahoma State University, analysts concluded that fighting  ballot initiatives focused on the care and housing of farm animals might actually be poorly advised.  The economists evaluated demand for eggs in selected California markets before and following the vote on Proposition 2.

Lobbyist Quits Working for HSUS after Criticism from NE Governor
Journal Star
Don Wesely, a lobbyist at O’Hara Lindsay Government Relations, has stopped working for HSUS after Nebraska Governor criticized him for supporting the organization's activist mission.

NY Considers Banning Non-Therapeutic Antimicrobials
Pork Network
New York lawmakers are considering banning non-therapeutic antimicrobials in swine, cattle, poultry, sheep or any other animals raised for human food consumption. Senate Bill 80 would make this practice a misdemeanor.
 
Beef Production’s Impact on Rural America
Drovers
This map shows admittingly ‘unscientific’ but interesting evidence of the beef industry’s significant contribution to the economic health of rural America.

Downer Cows Must be Condemned, Euthanized
Food Safety News
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSID), recently put new rules into effect for “downer” cows that are identified at slaughterhouses.

Proposed Rule for Nutrition Guidelines Introduced

Cattlenetwork
The USDA has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that revises meal patterns and nutritional requirements for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. The new rules increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk products.  

AVMA State Legislative Round-up
American Veterinary Medical Association
As the new year begins, state legislatures are convening throughout the United States. AVMA provides a list of the animal-related bills that have already been introduced in the states.

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Staff

Kay Johnson Smith
Executive Vice President
Sarah Hubbart
Communications Director

Laramie Adams
Communications/Membership Coordinator

Krissa Welshans
Outreach Consultant

Did You Know?

Laramie Adams
Adams most recently served as a Press Assistant for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.


This month, the Alliance welcomed Laramie Adams aboard as Communications and Membership Coordinator.
 

Upcoming Events

 
Visit Booth 1544 at IPE/IFE 2011!

1/25-26:
Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit
Atlanta, GA


1/26-28:
International Poultry/Feed Expo
Atlanta, GA


2/2-5:
NCBA Beef Industry Annual Convention
Denver, CO


2/24-25:
USDA Agricultural Outlook Conference
Arlington, VA


5/5-6:
Animal Agriculture Alliance 10th Annual Stakeholders Summit
Arlington, VA


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