At In These Times, David Sirota considers the USDA "Meatless Mondays" kerfluffle in light of the drought: Facing An Emergency, We’re Still Asking, “Where’s the Beef?”
It should shock you that our government's response to such an epic agricultural crisis is a small non-binding recommendation to consume a bit less meat. Indeed, compared to our nation's past reaction to other national security emergencies – from World War II-era recycling campaigns to post-9/11 homeland security spending binges – a “Meatless Monday” suggestion in an internal newsletter is stunningly inadequate.
It should likewise disgust you that even this inadequate recommendation has prompted not merely lawmakers' boisterous opposition – but also public displays of gluttony aimed at encouraging Americans to consume even more water-intensive products than ever.
And, most important, this episode should frighten you because it shows that those elected to deal with national security threats are so owned by industry that they now respond to crises with mocking condescension, in the process raising a harrowing question:
If an historic drought can't convince us to even talk about eating less than 194 pounds of meat every year, then how are we ever going to discuss solutions to – much less actively combat – the even bigger crises headed our way?