Ken Corn ( AC teacher)
Whilst I understand the intentions behind The Sustainability Council’s recent proposal to adjust (ditch?) Meat Free Mondays, in order to ensure our sustainability policy meets less resistance, I believe that this approach is misbegotten.
Mondays matter because they make a real statement. Mondays matter because, as an institution we are proclaiming that we want to take a stand, and not just dilute our beliefs throughout the week. As much as UWC Atlantic College is trying to reduce our institutional carbon footprint, it is educationally important that we stand up and speak out about why we are doing this, and not take the quiet approach just because some louder voices don’t concur.
There will always be those who insist they have a right to something, and will find ways to get around any policy that asks them to curb that impulse for the wider common good. To capitulate to such actions is defeatist. Progressive social change takes time. And effort. And educational gestures. And action.
If we accept that meat production and consumption should be diminished for good environmental reasons (and there is powerful research to compel us to do so – check out last week’s “Achieving food security in the face of climate change” by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research – CGIAR, amongst others), then we need to take stands and not back down. Yes, Mondays matter, not just as practical application, but as a real statement of intent, and even a doorway to debate. Meat Free Mondays say something im-portant about our institution and what we want to proclaim out loud that will be lost if quietly spread throughout the week. In the contested realm of ideas, Mondays do matter.
-United Words team-