By: Lindsay Geller
LA has done it again. Besides medical marijuana and gay marriage, Los Angeles leads the way again as the largest city in the US to officially join the international “Meatless Monday” movement. The city council showed their unequivocal support for the measure by passing it unanimously.
Jan Perry and Ed Reyes, the councilpeople who put forth the motion, believe that this movement will help combat growing concerns about high obesity rates and meat’s negative environmental impact. “Eating less meat can prevent and even reverse some of our nation’s most common illnesses,” Perry said, referring to health problems such as colon, prostate and breast cancers, as well as heart disease, reports NBC News.
She also added, “We’ve become disconnected in some ways from the simple truth that our health is directly affected by the foods we eat.” Perry’s comments come as no surprise to us vegans, but the rest of the world (or at least the greater Los Angeles area) is becoming enlightened. Oddly enough, in a city obsessed with image, more than half of Los Angeles County residents are obese or overweight. The council cited this statistic and others as the basis for its resolution.
Besides personal health, “Meatless Mondays” decrease the staggering environmental impact of meat production. The process of raising and slaughtering livestock accounts for 70 percent of global freshwater use and nearly twenty percent of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions, reports Patch.com. Eating vegetarian one day a week can even cut people’s carbon footprint by the equivalent of two days of driving, Jaya Bhumitra, campaigns director for the group Compassion Over Killing, told Patch. Since LA is known for its lack of public transportation, “Meatless Mondays” may help make up for the seemingly endless smog.
Although the resolution is not mandatory, the council hopes that their official measure will start a trend and promote healthier eating. With so many vegan celebrities, there’s hope that “Meatless Mondays” may become the new “Thirsty Thursday,” (although no one’s trying to get rid of that trend either).
So if you’re a vegan from the LA area, tell us what you think of this new development in Cali politics! Is this a necessary movement or just another pointless piece of legislation? How do you weigh in on American health care?