Berkeley Passes ‘Vegan Monday’ Requirement

Meat is off the menu one day a week in Berkeley, as city-operated institutions can “provide only plant-based foods on Mondays” according to a new law.

Next weekend would have been the annual How Berkeley Can You Be? parade, except that event was discontinued in 2009. But Berkeley just found another way to be even more Berkeley, as ABC 7 reports the city council approved a new ‘Vegan Monday’ resolution that would ban the serving of animal products one day each week at city-owned facilities.

The so-called “Vegan Monday” law does not apply to private businesses or UC-Berkeley cafeterias, and does not even require Vegan Monday to be observed on Monday. The full text of the resolution states that “all City-owned and City-managed facilities and programs will provide only plant-based foods on Mondays (or another day of the week).”

The resolution’s author, District councilmember Kate Harrison, said at Thursday’s meeting that “I’m not asking people to give up meat, I’m asking us all to think about what it is that we do every day, how we can reduce our meat consumption.”

Berkeley is the first city in the U.S. to adopt a Vegan Monday measure, spearheaded by a national environmental advocacy organization called Green Monday. “The first day of many people’s work or school week, Monday is is optimal for establishing new behaviors and setting the tone for the week,” the group says on its website. “Green Monday starts the week healthfully, harmoniously, and sustainably.”

The resolution states that, “By systematically reducing meat and dairy consumption, the citizens of Berkeley can accomplish two objectives; substantially reducing our collective greenhouse gas emissions and serving as a model for other municipalities across the country and around the world.” The law does not yet have a start date, and the Berkeley city manager has been tasked with forming a plan for implementation.


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