- Are school districts educating the children prperly?
- Are the roads being maintained and trash picked up?
- Is the police and fire departments providing prompt and good service?
- Is the city budget balanced?
Taking the time out, though, to advance a political agenda for or against a jurisdiction where you have no authority I thought was stupid. Sure, I know that now and again, time is taken out to pass a resolution, usually something to honor a person or group for their contributions to the community. But the Los Angeles City Council is at it again with . . . Meatless Mondays!
The Los Angeles City Council has declared every Monday to be a so-called 'meatless Monday,' and is urging all residents to participate in the weekly day of vegetarianism.
NBC Los Angeles reports that with the vote Los Angeles has become the largest city to embrace the Meatless Monday campaign, a nonprofit with the goal of cutting down on meat consumption for health and environmental reasons.
Councilwoman Jan Perry, who introduced the motion with Councilman Ed Reyes, noted the environmental impacts of meat production, and she emphasized that a high-meat diet has been linked to health problems such as colon, prostate, kidney and breast cancers, as well as heart disease.
"Eating less meat can prevent and even reverse some of our nation's most common illnesses," Perry said.
"We've become disconnected in some ways from the simple truth that our health is directly affected by the foods we eat,'' she added.
Her motion posted 12-0 in a council session Friday.
Reyes said it is easy for individuals to feel helpless in the face of issues as big as global warming or the obesity epidemic, "but the small changes we make every day can have a tremendous impact. That's why this 'Meatless Monday' resolution is important. Together we can better our health, the animals and the environment, one plate at a time.''
The council resolution referred to the link between livestock and environmental problem, and noted that reduced consumption of animal-based foods can "lower our carbon footprint."
The resolution also pointed to statistics showing more than half of Los Angeles County residents are obese or overweight, and stated reduced meat consumption can lower health risks.
Mind you, no actual causation as to whether the obesity of Los Angeles residents is linked to meat. But I think I can agree with Perry, but for different reasons: we have "become disconnected in some ways from the simple truth that our health is directly affected by the foods we eat." But meat is not the culprit. I say it is the overall daily regime of people - diet, exercise, work, etc. - that is causing this "obesity epidemic" (Epidemic? Do they know you can't "catch" fat?) and this is too simple a solution - let's blame meat! Sure, because replacing meat with a high-fat food like cheese and overdoing that won't cause blubber around the waistline.
Now, where is this Meatless Monday coming from? It is a movement sponsored by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Bloomberg. Yes, that's right - as in Michael Bloomberg, the current mayor of New York City, scourge of trans-fats and carbonated sodas! The man who used his resources as mayor NOT to maintain and improve the city's infrastructure - as demonstrated by last winter's fiasco when blizzards hit and more recently with the problems caused by Hurricane Sandy (Day 14 and over 100,000 residents are still without power and water - heckuva job, Bloomie!), but to outlaw servings of sweetened beverages over 16 ounces in New York City.
Of course, they are wrong if they think this is a novel idea - we Catholics have been forgoing meat on Fridays for centuries. Still do, as a matter of fact, and not just during Lent. The Church did not do away with meatless Fridays outside of Lent - instead, you substitute some other form of penance (Code of Canon Law sections 1250-1252) or abstain from meat. But here is the difference between Catholic Fridays and Meatless Mondays - we mackerel snappers don't hold meat as bad. In fact, it's quite good - so good, in fact, that we do our penance and thank God for His Mercy by abstaining from it. It is called sacrifice. Meatless Mondays, however, are disguised as something "for the good of the people" but is perhaps more about promoting environmentalism as a religion unto itself. I chuckled when the Reyes said it will "better the animals" - yes, I am sure that if a cow could form a rational thought, which it can't, it would heartily approve Meatless Mondays. Do it for the cows! Do it for the chickens!
Here is a suggestion: if the Los Angeles City Council addressed the issue of crime and worked to make its streets more safe - which is well within its scope of responsibility - perhaps kids would get out and play more, and adults would stroll the streets without fear of drive-bys. Perhaps if less money was spent on the administrative costs of the Los Angeles Unified School District, more money would be available for health programs.
Meat is bad for you . . . in excess. So is pretty much everything else. The problem with obesity lies with the individual, not with the item associated with their conduct of choice.