It’s funny how we constantly reinvent the past. And while few people admit to liking history, we always seem to be reliving it.
Take the recent phenomenon called Meatless Mondays. The idea is to give up meat and start switching to a plant-based diet. There are valid dietary reasons for plant-based diets, but the one promoted most often is meatless diets are humane and that raising animals are a drain on the world’s resources.
I’m not about to open the blog to that debate. i know the statistics on both sides. And I know that both sides are lying to some degree. The situation on our world isn’t so easily solved, and solving the situation in such a matter does create new problems.
That said, we do enjoy meals without meat, some without any animal products at all.
But the origins of meatless days in the U.S. stems not from environmental concerns or even health concerns. The meatless days harken back to the Great War.
Yes, you read that right. Herbert C. Hoover, who for years managed the Commission for Relief in Belgium (and Northern France) which fed nearly 9 million people during the First World War, instituted programs to save food and give it to our fighting men and support women over seas. An Army, Navy, etc do run on their stomachs. Note: Herbert Hoover became the President of the United States as a result of his work during the War and was subsequently blamed for the Great Depression.
The full policies he instituted were:
Workless Saturdays (I do not understand why pork is not considered meat, but there you go)
The program was called Hooverizing, which many today would think of as vacuuming. There were also heatless days and the introduction to Daylight savings time to help conserve coal usage. Legal holidays on Monday during the winter (for coal saving) and Industrial shutdowns.
So there you have it. What’s old has become new again, just for a different reason. Until next time.