Target: Mr. Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture
Goal: Approve guidelines that suggest Americans should eat less meat in order to be healthier and help the environment.
A federal panel of doctors and nutrition specialists has declared that Americans should eat less meat and that a vegan lifestyle is not only healthier than the standard American one, but better for the environment as well. These new guidelines are not being celebrated by the meat industry, however, and have been blasted by big names in the beef and poultry sectors. We must show our support for the new suggested federal guidelines before large business interests get to dictate what is best for us to eat.
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee was formed in 1983 and uses scientific evidence and research to make evidence-based guidelines for what people should be eating. This year the panel decided to take environmental sustainability into account when making their suggestions and the food industry lost its collective mind. Several groups have been screeching about how the panel overstepped its bounds and does not have the expertise to make a claim about sustainability, despite the panel having brought in two federal sustainability experts.
These are clearly false claims made by groups, such as the National American Meat Institute, that are afraid of losing profit. The only voices speaking out against these new guidelines, which are only suggestions, stand to lose money if they go into effect. It seems that once again money is more important than the planet and people’s lives.
The sad truth is that most of these truly progressive, and healthy, eating recommendations will never make it through the Department of Agriculture, which has deep ties to the meat industry. However, if we voice our support for these recommendations and demand that they be made into official guidelines, there is still hope. Please sign here to demand that the UDSA hear our voices.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
Recently, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee released a number of new dietary guidelines that suggested Americans should eat less meat and that a vegan lifestyle is the least harmful to the planet. These guidelines were met with outrage and petulant whining from the meat industry about the panel not being qualified to make claims about sustainability, sentiments you yourself have echoed. However, the panel brought in federal sustainability experts to make the judgement and the greedy screeching of the meat industry is nothing more than a fear of losing precious profit.
People are more important than money. The earth is more important than profit. The lives of the people you serve are more important than any ties or connections that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has with wealthy business people in the meat industry.
I am writing to demand that you approve these guidelines and make them official as soon as possible. No one is asking us to be vegans, but the amount of meat we consume is literally killing us and the planet. Please take action to save us all.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Wikimedia Commons