The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) commits to work with three dozen schools (colleges, universities, K-12 schools, or school districts), healthcare facilities, city councils, and/or health departments to implement or endorse a Meatless Monday program. The organization has four staff members focused on creating partnerships with directors of schools and governmental officials in enacting such policies. The HSUS will provide recipes, marketing, public relations materials, and strategic guidance during the implementation of Meatless Monday. This is a ramp up of a pilot effort that was started with only one employee working with several institutions.
The scale of Meatless Monday begins on May 1, 2013 and by July, the HSUS will have reached out to 333 school districts and 40 colleges and universities. These include 143 school districts in Pennsylvania, 100 in Vermont, 16 in Rhode Island, 54 in New Hampshire, 20 in California. The HSUS will meet with 31 school districts and 6 colleges and universities, including 20 school districts in Vermont, five in New Hampshire, one in Rhode Island, and five in California.
By October, the HSUS will have reached out to 839 schools and 80 colleges and universities. These include 250 school districts in Pennsylvania, 100 in Delaware, 24 in Maryland (every school district in the state), 60 in Virginia, 325 in Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and 80 in California. The HSUS will have met with 108 school districts and 12 colleges and universities. That includes 30 schools in Vermont, 15 in New Hampshire, one in Rhode Island, seven in Connecticut, 20 in Pennsylvania, five in Delaware, four in Maryland, six in Virginia, and 20 in California.
By January 2014 The HSUS will have reached out to 1,698 school districts and 120 colleges and universities. That includes 725 school districts in Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts; 501 in Pennsylvania, 208 in Delaware (every school district in the state), 24 in Maryland, 120 in Virginia, and 120 in California. The HSUS will have met with 209 school districts and 18 colleges and universities. Those include 35 school districts in Vermont, 20 in New Hampshire, two in Rhode Island, 20 in Connecticut, 20 in Massachusetts, 45 in Pennsylvania, 17 in Delaware, eight in Maryland, 12 in Virginia, and 30 in California. The HSUS aims to have persuaded 30 school districts and four colleges and universities to participate in Meatless Monday.
By May 2014, The HSUS will have reached out to 2,341 school districts and 160 colleges and universities. These include 1,025 schools in Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine; 501 in Pennsylvania, 208 in Delaware, 24 in Maryland, 221 in Virginia (every school district in the state) 212 in North Carolina (every school district in the state), and 150 in California. The HSUS will have met with 288 school districts and 26 colleges and universities. Those include 40 school districts in Vermont, 25 in New Hampshire, three in Rhode Island, 30 in Connecticut and 30 in Massachusetts, 15 in Maine, 45 in Pennsylvania, 17 in Delaware, eight in Maryland, 20 in Virginia, 15 in North Carolina, and 40 in California. The HSUS aims to have persuaded 140 school districts and eight colleges and universities to take part in Meatless Monday.
Animal agriculture uses vast amounts of precious resources, such as water and land. The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization has stated that the livestock sector is 'one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.' The UN concluded that meat production accounts for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, an even greater percentage than all transportation. It's no surprise that leading environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund advocate eating less meat.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading causes of death in America are heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and strokes. A growing body of research indicates that eating more plant-based meals and reducing meat consumption lowers the risk of these terminal, preventable diseases. This is why institutions such as the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health encourage people to take part in Meatless Monday.
In addition, more than nine billion animals are raised for food each year in the U.S., most of them currently suffering in factory farms where relentless consolidation has eliminated traditional husbandry in favor of inhumane confinement. Animals by the tens of thousands are crammed together, unable to breathe fresh air or see sunlight until they're sent to slaughter. Breeding pigs are virtually immobilized in gestation crates for much of their lives, unable to even turn around. Laying hens confined in barren battery cages, the source of 95 percent of our eggs, are given less space per bird than the screen of an iPad for their entire lives. This is why leading animal protection organizations also encourage a reduction of meat consumption.