Harvard University Joins National Movement to Reduce Meat Consumption

The Humane Society of the United States Praises University for Bringing More Meat-Free Options to Students

The Humane Society of the United States is praising Harvard University for becoming the latest university to join the international movement to reduce meat consumption by implementing its “Less-Meat Mondays” program.

The university is participating by increasing its meat-free options on Mondays and educating students about the health benefits of eating more meat-free meals. Students will be able to choose from fresh new dishes such as coconut and tofu soup, grilled bean burritos, Brazilian black bean stew and tofu stir fry.

“Harvard University Dining Services is committed to ensuring the good health of our students, and being a good steward to our planet and animals, which is why we’re participating in Less-Meat Mondays,” said Louisa Denison, food literacy project coordinator at Harvard University Dining Services.

“Americans simply don’t need to eat the high volume of animal products we’ve gotten used to eating—it’s bad for our health, for the local and global environments, and it’s not good for farmers or for animals,” said Kenny Torrella, outreach coordinator of farm animal protection at The Humane Society of the United States. “The Humane Society of the United States is pleased that Harvard University is joining the effort to show that being socially responsible can also be delicious.”

Although Americans are eating less meat than just five years ago, representing the first significant decline in domestic meat consumption in decades, meat consumption at current levels is still not sustainable. The HSUS promotes programs like Harvard University’s Less-Meat Mondays to accelerate this positive trend toward reduced meat consumption.

High demand for meat pressures farmers to opt for more industrialized production systems where they can lose touch with the animals. These systems also squeeze smaller farmers who have a harder time competing with factory farms.


  • The Meatless Monday campaign started in 2003 to raise awareness of the benefits of reduced meat consumption by bringing attention to the animal welfare, environmental and public health impacts of industrial meat production.
  • Polls show that 50 percent of people in America are aware of Meatless Monday and that roughly one in five are participating in it.
  • Public figures, celebrities and athletes—including former President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Rev. Al Sharpton, Russell Brand, Carl Lewis, Mike Tyson and Tony Gonzalez—have recently touted the advantages of eating less meat-centric diets.   
  • Going meat-free one day a week can help improve public health too: People who eat fewer animal products have lower rates of weight gain, dementia, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and other health problems than people who eat a typical American diet.

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