FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 3, 2013

Oakland Resolution Declares “Meatless Mondays” City-Wide

 Oakland, Calif. — At a City Council meeting last night, Councilmember Libby Schaaf, District 4, and Desley Brooks, District 6, introduced a resolution, which the council passed, declaring every Monday to be “Meatless Monday” in Oakland. The resolution encourages residents to eat meat-free meals on Mondays and restaurants, businesses, and other local institutions to offer more plant-based foods at the start of every week to improve community health, environmental sustainability, and to reduce the number of animals factory farmed.

Meatless Monday—started during World War I by the U.S. Food Administration as a resource-saving measure and modernized in 2003 by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health—is a growing movement. Hundreds of colleges and universities, thousands of K-12 schools, hospitals, and other institutions have started participating, including Oakland Unified School District and Mills College.

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Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney presents a Meatless Monday resolution to Souley Vegan founder Tamearra Dyson

The goal of Meatless Monday is to lower rates of chronic, preventable diseases and ailments like heart disease, cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes by reducing meat consumption. Reducing meat consumption has other benefits as well. According to the Environmental Working Group, “If everyone in the U.S. skipped eating meat and cheese one day a week, it would have the same impact on our environment as taking 7.6 million cars off the roads.”

“Oakland has long been a pioneer in sustainability and we’re always looking for effective, yet simple ways to get people eating healthier, so promoting Meatless Monday in our city makes sense,” said Councilmember Schaaf. “Participating in Meatless Monday is an easy—and delicious—way we can all make a big difference for ourselves and the planet.”

Read the full resolution here.

Facts:

  • Meatless Monday is an international movement to promote the public health benefits of reduced meat consumption. Other important effects include animal welfare benefits and a more environmentally sustainable diet.
  • Polls show that 50 percent of people in America are aware of Meatless Monday and that roughly one in five are participating in it.
  • People who eat fewer animal products can have lower rates of weight gain, dementia, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease and other health problems than people who eat a typical American diet.

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