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Brown Animal Rights Coalition outlines Meatless Monday referendum to UCS general body

Students to vote on BARC referendum in spring

<p>The presentation explained how animal agriculture has a negative environmental impact by increasing greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. </p>

The presentation explained how animal agriculture has a negative environmental impact by increasing greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

Brown Animal Rights Coalition student leaders Adin Richards ’23, Benny Smith ’23 and Hari Dandapani ’23 presented at the Undergraduate Council of Students general body meeting Wednesday evening.

In their presentation, BARC discussed the organization’s Meatless Monday referendum, which will put the following question on the SGA spring ballot: “In order to reduce Brown’s negative impact on the climate, public health and animal welfare, should Brown Dining Services institute a Meatless Monday initiative?”

BARC first proposed and collected signatures for the referendum in October 2021, Richards wrote in an email to The Herald. They have gotten 312 signatures over the course of two weeks, which surpasses the 300-signature requirement needed for a referendum to be included on the spring elections ballot, he added.

According to the presentation, Meatless Monday is “a global movement” that was “started in 2003 by Sid Lerner, the founder of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future” to encourage the public to decrease their meat consumption every Monday. The presentators cited climate, public health and animal welfare issues as reasons why Meatless Monday should be implemented.


The presentation stated that  animal agriculture increases greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation, which makes consuming animals and animal products an environmental issue.

“We could cut back massively on our impact (on the environment) just by … avoiding such intensive use of animal calories in our diet,” Richards said.

The presentation also suggested that a vegan diet can provide several health benefits.

After the presentation, some UCS members voiced concerns regarding the impacts of a potential Meatless Monday initiative on the campus student-athlete community.

“Based on my experience in the Campus Life committee, we’ve had athletes and athletic organizations coming to us expressing how important meat is in their diets,” said UCS general body member Deborah Meirowitz ’22. Due to these concerns, “it might look good to have (the support of) athletic groups” before adopting such a measure.

The Meatless Monday referendum will be placed on this spring’s elections ballot, giving the student body the opportunity to share their opinion on the topic.


Kathy Wang

Kathy Wang is the senior editor of community of The Brown Daily Herald's 134th Editorial Board. She previously covered student government and international student life as a University News editor. When she's not at The Herald, you can find her watching cooking videos or writing creative nonfiction.

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