By Kyle Olson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Beef producers recently cried foul when the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced to its employees that it would be imposing a “Meatless Mondays” program in the department’s cafeterias.  In an employee newsletter, the department ironically criticized beef and dairy production, two industries it’s supposed to be promoting.

Because of public pressure, the department is now ditching the program. The USDA tweeted the newsletter had been posted “in error.”

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With that victory in hand, ranchers and cattlemen would be smart to turn their attention to K-12 schools, as well as colleges and universities, as the “Meatless Mondays” movement is already infecting the world of government education.

Meatless Mondays” is a part of “The Monday Campaigns.” One of these efforts urges smokers to stay away from cigarettes every Monday. Another encourages young men to set aside Mondays “to visit their local clinics to get checked for HIV and STDs.”  That campaign’s slogan is, “If you hit it this weekend, hit the clinic Monday.” Another is, “Got Condoms? Restock Monday.” Classy.

“The Monday Campaigns” is supported by several health-related organizations, universities and strangely, the Fox News Channel.

“Meatless Mondays” has already spread to several major school districts, including New York City, Detroit, Baltimore, Miami-Dade, Oakland, as well as many others. It’s now being used by many colleges and universities, including Columbia, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Temple and Yale.

But what’s the agenda? Less cholesterol? Fewer fatsos? Perhaps, but a “K-12 Tool Kit” lists several other benefits of “Meatless Mondays,” including:

Reduce carbon footprint: The UN estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change.

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In layman’s terms, the activists don’t like so many cows farting. Perhaps instead of sticking it to the ranchers, “Meatless Mondays” should advocate for the production of gas-capturing underpants for cows and let us eat what we want.