Soldiers Fight Climate Change with “Meat-free Mondays”

December 20, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. base [beys] (n.) – a facility operated by the armed forces and where various military activities are conducted
Example: The military base at the outskirts of the city is home to 10,000 soldiers.

2. supportive [suh-PAWR-tiv, -POHR-] (adj.) – able to give support or encouragement
Example: Because the people have been supportive of the program, it became successful.

3. nutritionist [noo-TRISH-uh-nist, nyoo-] (n.) – an expert on food and its effects on human health
Example: He aimed to be a nutritionist because many in his family are unhealthy.

4. built [bilt] (adj.) – well-proportioned (e.g. body structure)
Example: Soldiers are typically muscularly built.

5. critical [KRIT-i-kuh l] (adj.) – being not approving; tending to find the errors of someone or something
Example: The government is critical and is hesitant to provide financial support to the program.


Read the text below.
Norwegian armed forces has recently began its first ever “meat-free Monday” at the Rena military base in Oslo, Norway.

“Meat free Mondays” aims to decrease the soldiers’ meat consumption and to help protect the environment. According to the report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, meat factories contribute to as much as 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities. Therefore, cutting meat consumption will help fight climate change. 

The military estimates that if this effort extends to other bases in Norway and in other countries, meat consumption will be cut to more than 330,000 pounds within a year.

A survey regarding this initiative revealed that the soldiers were positive and supportive of the effort. Pal Sternberg, a nutritionist and navy [NEY-vee] commander who feeds 10,000 soldiers 35,000 meals daily, said that the soldiers have responded well by eating a lot of the vegetable-filled and meat-free meals.

He added that a soldier can still be muscularly built even with vegetables. In fact, some soldiers are vegetarian.

While some in the Norwegian government are supportive of the effort, some are still critical about it. Right-wing politician Per Sandberg argued that meat-free meals do not have to be on Mondays and that meat and fish have always been on Parliament’s menu. He stressed that people should have the freedom to choose for themselves.

Sternberg responded by explaining that it is the military’s vision to be ahead of others when it comes to environment-friendliness, ethical standard, and healthy food.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that “meat-free Monday” is a good initiative? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, should other soldiers follow this initiative? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         How does climate change affect your daily life? Please explain further.
·         How else can we help fight climate change?


December 20, 2013