S.F. to Hold the Meat on Mondays

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a resolution (PDF) this week declaring each Monday "Veg Day."

The resolution will "encourage restaurants, grocery stores and schools to offer a greater variety of plant-based options to improve the health of San Francisco residents and visitors, and to increase the awareness of the impact a Green Diet would be on our planet."

The Meat-Free Mondays resolution doesn't offer much bite, however, since it is nonbinding and doesn't allow for enforcement.

In the resolution, Supervisor Sophie Maxwell pointed to other regions that have recognized the virtues of eschewing meat. In July, the city of Ghent, Belgium established a VegDay to be held every week of the year. The city of Takoma Park, Maryland, adopted a whole meat-free week in 2009 near Earth Day, a tradition that will live on again this year when Takoma Park Veg Week takes place April 24-30.

In October, the Baltimore Public School District also adopted a Meatless Monday menu for its 80,000 students.

The developments follow remarks in late 2008 from Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, suggesting that omitting meat from the diet for a day would allow individuals to do their part to address climate change, since livestock is a large source of greenhouse gas emissions. The movement gained some star power in June when Paul McCartney threw his support behind the cause, starting a campaign to get consumers to ditch their carnivorous ways for a day and even writing a song about it.

In the U.S., the Meatless Monday initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, aims to cut meat consumption by 15 percent for health and environmental reasons. Some of those who have taken action include Simon Cowell, Gwyneth Paltrow and Martha Stewart’s body + soul magazine.

Another resolution passed this week by the S.F. supes praises local businesses that only use cage-free eggs.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user reynolds.james.e.