The Monday Campaigns

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The Monday Campaigns

"The Monday Campaigns is a non-profit public health initiative in association with Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Maxwell School at Syracuse. Our goal is to help end chronic preventable disease by offering a weekly prompt that can support people in starting and sustaining healthy behaviors.
"Why Monday?
"Research conducted by Johns Hopkins indicates that the week is a critical unit of time in planning our lives and Monday has special significance as the beginning of the week. People view Monday as a day for a fresh start and a chance to set healthy intentions for the next 6 days. They’re more likely to start diets, exercise regimes, quit smoking and schedule doctor’s appointments on Monday than any other day. And they’re looking for help in setting and carrying out their healthy intentions for the week."[1]

Extreme Reaction from Cattlemen to Meatless Monday Suggestion

Reminiscent of the flap that exploded re: Oprah Winfey and the Nattional Cattleman's Beef Association

From The Los Angeles Times:

Who would have thought that something as .. well, bland ... as encouraging employees to consider going meatless for one day a week would blow up into a scandal -- with calls for people to be fired and accusations of “treasonous” behavior?

That’s just what happened after some person (pity him or her!) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture cheerfully suggested Meatless Monday in an internal memo to staff.

An excerpt from the memo:

"One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias is to participate in the 'Meatless Monday' initiative... How will going meatless one day of the week help the environment? The production of meat, especially beef (and dairy as well), has a large environmental impact. …. Because Meatless Monday involves only one day a week, it is a small change that could produce big results. Did you notice that our cafeterias have tasty meatless options? So you can really help yourself and the environment while having a good vegetarian meal!”

Radical stuff!

Here is the outraged reaction by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn., posted Wednesday. In it, the organization’s president J.D. Alexander stated that Meatless Monday is “an animal rights extremist campaign to ultimately end meat consumption” and that since the USDA’s mission is to promote U.S. farming, “this move by USDA should be condemned by anyone who believes agriculture is fundamental to sustaining life on this planet.”

Texas agriculture commissioner Todd Staples steps up the rhetoric a bitby calling for the USDA to “Fire The Ones Responsible” for these “appalling endorsements” and “treasonous comments.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken down the memo, but you can still view the whole thing here.

The USDA has since said it was all a mistake, according to the Associated Press, and has tweeted an explanation to the world:

“USDA MT @usdapress: USDA does not endorse Meatless Monday. Statement on USDA site posted w/o proper clearance. It has been removed // @FarmBureau”

Here’s an item on the issue at the "Food Politics" blog of NYU professor Marion Nestle.

"Food Politics in action!" she writes.

Meatless Monday flap: USDA gets into trouble with beef industry

Lesson learned: Criticism in the United States of the beef industry, if it might possibility result in even a small cut in industry profits, will not be tolerated, no matter the facts behind it.

Staff and Advisors

The Monday Campaigns Team:[2]

The Monday Campaigns Academic Liaisons:[2]

The Monday Campaigns Advisors:[2]


Partners include:[3]

News and Media Outlets:

Not for Profit Agencies:

Government Agencies:



Educational Institutions:

Contact Information

Resources and Articles

Related SourceWatch Pages


  1. About, Accessed September 30, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Our Team, Accessed September 30, 2011.
  3. Our Partners, Accessed September 30, 2011.

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