Illinois student gov hosts 'Meat Free Monday' for 'Earth Week'

The ISG has allocated $840 to fund the event, which aims to teach students about "the benefits of going 'meat free,' even for one day a week."

The University of Illinois student government is co-sponsoring a "Meat Free Monday" event on April 16 to kick off "Earth Week."

The Illinois Student Government (ISG) passed a resolution last week allocating $840 for a “Meat Free Monday” event to kick off “Earth Week” on April 16.

The purpose of the event is to “raise awareness of and celebrate the beneficial environmental impacts of reducing dietary meat consumption,” according to the resolution, which adds that the demonstration is also intended to “encourage campus dining halls to serve a greater proportion of plant-based foods.”

The document offers several justifications for such environmentalist activism, such as citing the university’s 2015 Climate Action Plan, which pledges to “exercise leadership by modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions.”

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It then elaborates that, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, animal agriculture accounts for “roughly 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions” while also contributing significantly to the fact that agriculture is responsible for “89-90% of all water usage in the United States.”

According to the resolution, “a plant-based diet can reduce a person’s carbon footprint by 50%, water footprint by 92%, and land footprint by 95%.”

To pay for the event, the resolution allocates $840 in ISG funding, including $50 dollars for stickers, $200 for “miscellaneous” expenses, and $500 for food. 

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In addition to ISG, the Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS) and University Vegetarians student groups are also co-sponsoring “Meat Free Monday,” which will take place at the University YMCA facility.

“Learn about the benefits of going ‘meat-free,’ even for one day a week,” the Facebook event page entices students, noting that “we will be serving FREE vegan/vegetarian options from local restaurants,” and that “community members and students will be giving short talks about why they chose to be #meatfree.”

Notably, the “Meat Free Monday” resolution was passed during the ISG meeting on April 4, the same day that the body impeached a conservative student for his role in organizing a memorial wall for victims of illegal immigration.

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