Monday, June 27, 2011

Meatless Monday? No, thank you.

I went to a great little restaurant with my mom last week called Mocha Cabana in Lethbridge, Alberta.

I love going there- the food has a Mexican twist, the drinks are fun and fruity, and they have an outdoor patio.

Something I saw on the menu this last visit, I didn't love so much.

"Meatless Monday: Help the earth and improve your health by giving up meat one day a week. Join us for meatless soup, lunch and dinner specials. Regular menu also available."

Mocha Cabana is one of the few restaurants in our area that offer a "Meatless Monday" menu feature. They also have plenty of vegetarian options, which are great for customers with different tastes and preferences.

Let it be known that I fully support choice in restaurants- in fact, I encourage it! Restaurants have a requirement to please the tastes of every customer who walks in their door. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options? Great! Meatless Monday? Not so great.

The message on their menu creates the impression that people would be doing something positive for the environment and their bodies by giving up meat one day per week.

Pray tell, Mocha Cabana, how not eating meat for a day could improve my health and save the earth? There are countless health benefits in all types of meat, including the zinc, iron, and protein in red meat. Animal proteins are high-quality and complete, supplying your body with all the necessary amino acids. You can also count of high levels of magnesium, vitamin E, and B vitamins from your meat.

Image My bumper sticker. Clearly, I'm not a Meatless Monday gal.

I'm a very content omnivore. I appreciate a balanced meal that includes some type of meat protein. There are other sources of protein, of course, that can sustain humans, and it is an individual's choice to obtain their necessary nutrients from a vegetarian source.

However, I do not appreciate an establishment delivering a message directly to consumers that gives the impression eating meat is harmful to health and the environment.

I did an in-depth post last week here about the advancements in beef production that have had positive impacts on the environment, and the necessity of grazing cattle on non-arable lands.

I think establishments should consider who they are offending by posting features such as Meatless Monday. Alberta is a ranching and farming province, and I can bet plenty of their customers are primary producers. I know that as a beef producer and a paying customer, I don't appreciate my business being slandered on the front page of their menu.

The official website for the Meatless Monday movement, including a list of people and restaurants on board.
Here's a Monday trend I like a lot better: Hunk of Meat Mondays
Check out my favorite HoMM posts this week by Beyer Beware, the creator of HoMM, and Crystal.Cattle.

Needless to say, this Monday, I'll be getting my serving of protein in the form of Alberta beef.

What do you think about Meatless Mondays?


  1. Not cool, Mocha Cabana. I also loved them. What did you say to them?

  2. It is a sneaky and surprisingly successful attempt by the anti-animal ag movement to make it trendy to eliminate meat from the menu 1 day per week by preying on an uninformed consumer trying to do something good for their health & environment. Pressure for restaurants to be up on the latest trends has some of them jumping on board. Sneaky & effective… What's next Meatless May?

  3. It's hurts me a little bit to see that restaurants are pushing "Meatless Monday"! I agree that they should take into perspective that many of their customers are a part of the beef production process. I just did a blog about why eating beef is good for you and why you should have a good serving of beef often!


  4. Some schools are even having Meatless Mondays for their school lunch program. Talk about misinforming the next generation.

  5. Couldn't agree more! I sometimes feel bad for unknowing consumer who thinks they are doing something good when they go meatless. I hope you enjoyed your beef yesterday!

  6. Thank you all for your great comments!

    Laura, our server didn't know anything about it. They'll be receiving a letter and link to this post from me shortly.

    Desta, I agree completely! Consumers and restaurants are caught up in being trendy to the point that they disregard who their choices could impact.

    Hannah, great to see you're in on Hunk of Meat Monday as well! Great post.

    Domonique, that is simply ridiculous! I can only hope that rational people like yourself are there to set them straight.

    Leah, thanks so much for stopping by! I love your HoMM idea- a great counter to Meatless Monday. I sure did!

  7. Great post, Rosie. I'm enjoying your blog!

    I, too, am a happy omnivore! However, I must confess we have embraced a nearly weekly meatless day in our household and, yes, we are primary producers who fully support the livestock industry! Admittedly, my rationale for this has nothing to do with a blatant protest of livestock sectors. In fact, we are just endeavoring to support other Canadian producers who grow quality peas, beans and lentils!

  8. Thanks, Melissa! I've been following along with yours as well.

    You raise a great point. Just because I come from a family of beef producers doesn't mean we should only choose beef as protein! There are plenty of great sources produced by farmers and ranchers around the world. If that was the marketing angle of campaigns such as this, I'd have a far easier time digesting them (excuse the pun). I'm glad you brought this up. Thanks for the comment!