A Protein Problem

The event that is quite possibly the worst transgression on American soil since in recent memory occurred here at Phillips Academy. Of course, I mean Meatless Mondays. The student body found on Monday that all the delicious meat products normally available in Commons were suddenly unavailable at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For me, disbelief was my first gut response. Then, as lunch persisted with no animal options, what I had hoped was purely coincidence and rumor turned to cold, hard, fact. For my first lunch in three years at Andover, there was no meat for me to consume, no delicious, protein-filled fuel to see me through until dinner time. But this is Andover, and, as always, the administration claims that there is a concrete reason wholly beneficial to the student body behind everything they do. Yet as I sat there in Commons on Monday, I couldn’t arrive at any reasonable conclusion that would lead to the disappearance of meat from the menu. Perhaps meat was becoming too expensive to have on a daily basis. Remember, however, that Andover has an $800 million dollar endowment, larger than that of some colleges. Paresky Commons alone cost $35 million dollars to renovate. I should hope that Andover could afford some sort of dead animal for me to eat on a regular basis. Or, perhaps it is more ecologically beneficial to consume more leafy greens and less beef than to eat meat. Yet the circle of life assures that both animals and plants eventually die, decompose, and foster the next generation of growth. If it really is ecologically unfriendly, then perhaps we can get our meat from free-range or other humane, ecologically friendly sources. Some have said that, by not serving meat on Monday, Commons could invest in higher quality meat the other six days of the week. First of all, I would rather have meat everyday than marginally better meat six days a week with none on Monday. However, if this is the case, then let’s get 24 oz. USDA-Prime dry-aged Porterhouse steaks on Friday night grilled to order with the works, please. Lastly, the high-demand atmosphere at Andover requires good nutrition, including protein, especially for athletes on game day. Since most of us get our protein from meat and fish, students would have to find those food sources on their own, or raise funds as teams to have substantial meals on Mondays, unless they get their daily protein from non-meat sources. Imagine the headlines: Andover Students to Raise Funds to Feed Themselves. Meatless Mondays could go so far as to drive away accepted students. A difficult choice for an 8th-grader between Andover and a peer school might come down to a daily meat option on the menu. Imagine the next president of the United States going to Exeter over a cheeseburger. The least the students can hope to receive is some form of explanation from those in charge as to why we have to endure Meatless Mondays. Until that happens, we can hope to see meat on the menu next Monday, or it will be a very long year. Ben Krapels is a four-year Senior from Andover, MA.