Bring Meatless Mondays To UVM

  • by: Alex B
  • recipient: Tom Sullivan, Melissa Zelazny, Keith Waterfield, Vanessa Buck, Michael Wiggett, Nicole Rohrig, Jennifer Wefers, Emily Portman

Doesnt matter if its beef, pork chicken or fish, meat is extremely resource intensive.

Even if you arent vegan/vegetarian, eating meat one day less every week greatly reduces your carbon footprint.

UVM has the ability to make a huge impact on the environment if we all contribute to Meatless Mondays every Monday in all dining halls across campus.

This petetion aims to reduce our impact by saving 214,500 pounds of meat per year. By not eating that meat, UVM saves 536,250,000 gallons of water, 6,435,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, and 11,797,500 square feet of forest cover. 

Let's continue our legacy of environmentally foward thinking and sustainabllity by being pioneers for our food services. 

If you signed the letter we were sending to Tom Sulivan and Sodexo Management this is the same thing thank you! 

PLEASE PUT YOUR UVM EMAIL AND AFFILIATION IN THE COMMENTS THANK YOU

Dear Tom Sullivan, Melissa Zelazny, Keith Waterfield, Vanessa Buck, Michael Wiggett, Nicole Rohrig, Jennifer Wefers, Emily Portman,

One of the reasons many students come to UVM is because it is known as an environmentally friendly school, and sustainability is at the core of its values. While UVM has done much to improve the impact of its energy infrastructure and architecture, one area it has been lacking in is food. Sure we compost and have initiatives like the Real Food Project, but in terms of the actual food selection and availability, one of the biggest carbon impact reduction initiatives we can take is to implement Meatless Mondays in all the dining halls across campus.

The common perception is that cars are the biggest producers of carbon emissions. We often are given visuals of a whole highways backed up in traffic with smog lingering all around. By simply cutting out meat for one day, it could make more of an impact on reducing emissions, than riding your bike or carpooling. For instance eating one less burger a week, is equivalent to taking a car off the road for 320 miles. If a four-person family skips meat and cheese one day a week, it’s like taking a car off the road for five weeks. If a four-person family skips steak once a week, it’s like taking a car off the road for nearly three months. If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be like not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road. This being known, by just cutting back on meat for one day a week, a Meatless Monday, it could help make a major impact on reducing carbon emissions.

Water use is another area of concern when it comes to meat production. For example, about 1000 kg of water are required to produce 1 kg of feed grain and 20 kg of feed are needed to produce 1 kg of edible beef products. However, it is becoming harder to find this water since agricultural runoff, which is higher in the deforested farming areas, pollutes both ground and surface waters with nitrogen and phosphorus. The EPA estimates that 70% of all water quality problems in US rivers can be attributed to agriculture. This is a problem that we see right here with Lake Champlain’s yearly algal blooms.

The average American eats approximately 0.75 pounds of meat a day. If Meatless Monday was implemented, every student on a meal plan at UVM, approximately 5,500 people, would be eating 234.75 pounds of meat per year compared to the 273.75 pounds of meat per year they would have eaten. This means that the UVM student body would be saving 214,500 pounds of meat per year. By not eating that meat, UVM saves 536,250,000 gallons of water, 6,435,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, and 11,797,500 square feet of forest cover.

Now you may be thinking we chose Monday just so we could have a catchy alliteration. Mondays are the best day to have it because most college students have been eating poorly on the weekend and are looking to start fresh. Although being a vegetarian presents many benefits for the environment, the animals, and our health, it is not a lifestyle for everyone, and Meatless Mondays would be a good way to meet in the middle. We hope you will choose to implement this program and continue UVM’s legacy of environmental responsibility and setting the president for colleges all over world.

Sincerely,

Concerned Students and Faculty of

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