CU Boulder is clearly a green campus (and I’m not only talking about 4/20). Up until recently, we were ranked as the greenest campus in the nation. With CU also having the most powerful student government in the country, sustainability directors for CUSG can have a substantial impact in their work with environmental centers and legislators to reduce our campus carbon footprint.
Curiously, there is something crucial that is, and has been, missing from the work of this position to combat environmental devastation: attention on her and our meat consumption. It is well known amongst environmentalists that the meat and dairy industry is a massive contributor to environmental harm. In fact, a UN study revealed that the meat industry emits 40 percent more greenhouse-gas emissions than all transportation in the world combined. If we are serious about environmental issues, we should abstain from contributing to environmental harm as best we can. This includes not only recycling and driving more efficiently but, perhaps most importantly, eating a diet free of meat.
It is my wish that our next director will recognize the ethical importance of vegetarian and vegan diets and will at least be responsible enough to engage in such a practice herself, if not influencing others to do the same. How can we seriously expect students to act responsibly towards the environment if the sustainability director at one of the greenest schools in the nation is, herself, uncommitted?
Matthew A. Cucchiaro