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April 30, 2015

USP Piracicaba, One of World’s Top Agricultural Universities, joins Global Humane Eating Movement

Move is celebrated by Humane Society International, one of the world’s largest animal protection NGOs

Humane Society International

  • iStockphoto

São Paulo University (USP) Piracicaba, named the world's 5th top agricultural sciences university by US News and World Report, will serve only meat-free meals in its campus cafeteria one day a week.  USP Piracicaba is the first agriculture university in Brazil to adopt a humane eating program, which in most places is called Meatless Monday, a popular global movement promoted by Humane Society International (HSI) that asks consumers to leave meat off their plates one day a week, to help the environment, their health and animals.

Paula Poeta, USP Piracicaba’s cafeteria nutritionist, said: “Our campus adopts a very advanced policy with respect to sustainability and responsible consumption. That’s why we at the University Restaurant, in partnership with the USP Recycles Program, with the support of Humane Society International, and the collaboration of the Academic Center, we launched the Meat-Free Day project, in order to reduce meat consumption.  From our point of view, this is a simple, yet very effective, campaign to preserve the environment.”

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Fernanda Vieira, technical coordinator for HSI Farm Animals in Brazil, stated: “We applaud USP Piracicaba for their commitment to creating a healthier planet by going meat-free one day a week. Nationally and internationally, major institutions recognize Meatless Monday as a great way to promote healthier and more sustainable eating patterns. We look forward to working with more universities in Brazil on joining Meatless Monday”.

A growing number of institutions, including the Brazilian Ministry of Health and USP’s School of Public Health, are recognizing that a reduction in meat consumption is necessary in order to help animals, the environment and our health. Last year, in its 2014 Dietary Guidelines, the Brazilian Ministry of Health recommended that meat consumption- due to its increased risk of obesity, heart problems and other chronic diseases- should be limited to improve human health, the environment and animals. In this same report, the Ministry stated: “Opting to consume various types of plant-based foods and a limited consumption of animal products indirectly results in a food system that is more just and less stressful (detrimental) on the environment, animals and biodiversity in general”.


  • Our environmental footprint can be significantly reduced by eating more plant-based meals. Animal production is a key contributor to climate change, deforestation, water pollution and water use.
  • Reducing our consumption of animal products can also benefit human health. A plant-based diet can prevent, treat and in some cases, even reverse many of the chronic diseases plaguing the world – such as obesity, heart problems and strokes.
  • Meatless Monday also reduces animal suffering.  Tens of millions of animals in food production in Brazil, like egg-laying hens and breeding sows, are intensively confined and spend their whole lives in cages so small they can barely even move.
  • USP Piracicaba joins countless schools, governments, food companies, and other institutions in Brazil and around the globe that are already participating in Meatless Monday:  São Paulo city public schools serve only meat-free meals every Monday, and the Los Angeles Unified School District, the U.S.’s second largest school district also participates in Meatless Monday. 
  • Meatless Monday is supported by numerous celebrities, including Paul McCartney and Gilberto Gil.

Media contact: Carolina Galvani, cgalvani@hsi.org, + 55 11 98208 9645

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