San Francisco Board of Supervisors Implements Historic ‘Vegetarian Day’

Second resolution encourages businesses to use cage-free eggs

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today will sign two historic resolutions that encourage vegetarian eating. In Defense of Animals and the San Francisco Vegetarian Society introduced a resolution declaring Mondays as ‘VegDays,’ citing the environmental, heath and ethical benefits of a plant-based diet. The second resolution commends restaurants and stores that use cage-free eggs.

“There is a revolution of ecological eating spanning the globe, and government bodies and community institutions are taking a leadership role,” said Hope Bohanec, Campaigns Director for IDA. “If everyone in San Francisco ate a plant-based diet just one day a week for a year, we would save over 378,600,768 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. That is the equivalent of taking 123,822 cars off the streets of San Francisco!”

With these resolutions, the supervisors are encouraging community members to eat a more plant-based diet to reduce their carbon footprint, increase their health and reduce farm animal suffering.

Information about the environmental impacts of animal agriculture is gaining ground. A 2009 report from World Bank environmental advisors revealed that farmed animals are responsible for at least 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

The report concludes that replacing animal products with soy-based products and other alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change: “This approach would have far more rapid effects on GHG emissions and their atmospheric concentrations – and thus, on the rate the climate is warming – than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.”

Plant-based diets are also good preventative medicine. These diets reduce medical costs for individuals and the health care system. They also aid in the prevention of childhood obesity. The American Dietetic Association recognizes that reduced meat consumption decreases the risk of various chronic degenerative diseases.

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