Cafeteria Should try Meatless Days

“Meatless Mondays” could benefit school, environment


On Wednesday, May 8 the vegetarian option was a veggie pita sandwich.

Lexi Dietz, Columnist

Recently, many Senior Speeches have highlighted the positive effects of going vegetarian, or even “vegetarian-ish”. From the many health benefits that come with starting a plant-based diet, the negative effects of the livestock industry, and the ethical reasoning behind not eating animals, the argument for vegetarianism is quite convincing. At the end of these speeches, the speaker often asked the audience to cut out meat from their diet, at least partially. It may seem like a minor change, but for each day on a plant-based diet, an individual can save up to 1,100 gallons of water, 30 square feet of forest and eliminate 20 lbs. of CO2. These savings add up quickly, explaining why going vegetarian is one of the greatest ways to help the environment.

Many recognize these benefits and are shifting towards vegetarianism on a larger scale as well. According to CNN, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will be implementing “Meatless Mondays” into all New York Public schools in the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. Meatless Mondays entail vegetarian lunches on Mondays for the entire school, however, students may bring in meat from home if they wish. To explain his choice, Mayor de Blasio points to the rising childhood obesity and prediabetes rates as well as the food-related greenhouse gas emissions. Blasio hopes this is a step in the right direction to keep students and the environment healthy.

As more and more people begin to consider plant-based diets, it seems only logical that Blake should also try Meatless Mondays. However, it isn’t as easy as it seems. The Middle School has tried Meatless Mondays in past years, yet received backlash from parents who thought their children needed meat in their daily diet. It is true that Blake offers a vegetarian option, but many students tend to gravitate towards the main dishes containing meat, limiting the benefits of the vegetarian line. In order to reduce Blake’s environmental impact, the kitchen could begin Meatless Mondays, slightly changing the menu once a week to reap the enormous environmental benefits. Small changes like these would have a great impact, and should be seriously considered by the kitchen staff and the Blake administration.