Source: National Cattlemen's Beef Association
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President J.D. Alexander said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent announcement that the agency embraces the "Meatless Monday" concept calls into question USDA’s commitment to U.S. farmers and ranchers.
USDA stated "one simple way to reduce our environmental while dining at our cafeteria is to participate in the "Meatless Monday" initiative," which Alexander said is an animal rights extremist campaign to ultimately end meat consumption.
"This is truly an awakening statement by USDA, which strongly indicates that USDA does not understand the efforts being made in rural America to produce food and fiber for a growing global population in a very sustainable way," said Alexander. "USDA was created to provide a platform to promote and sustain rural America in order to feed the world. This move by USDA should be condemned by anyone who believes agriculture is fundamental to sustaining life on this planet."
USDA goes one step further in its quest to reduce meat consumption, according to Alexander, by specifically calling out beef and dairy production as harmful to the environment.
Additionally, the USDA cites health concerns related to the consumption of meat. These concerns are not at all based in fact, according to Alexander, but simply spout statistics and rhetoric generated by anti-animal agriculture organizations. The fact is the consumption of beef is not only healthy, but the carbon footprint of the production of beef has dramatically decreased as a result of innovative environmental stewardship implemented by America’s farm and ranch families throughout the country.
"Today’s cattlemen are significantly more environmentally sustainable then they were 30 years ago. A study by Washington State University found that today’s farmers and ranchers raise 13 percent more beef from 13 percent fewer cattle. When compared with beef production in 1977, each pound of beef produced today produces 18 percent less carbon emissions; takes 30 percent less land; and requires 14 percent less water," said Alexander. "When it comes to health, beef has an amazing story to tell. Beef is a naturally nutrient-rich food, helping you get more nutrition from the calories you take in."
Alexander said NCBA will not remain silent as USDA turns its back on cattlemen and consumers.