IDA has an exciting new campaign to encourage healthy, compassionate, and earth-friendly eating. Our VegDay Resolution is available for city councils and boards of supervisors to sign into their cities, encouraging citizens to eat plant-based meals on Mondays.
There is a revolution of ecological eating spanning the globe, and government bodies and community institutions are taking a leadership role. They are encouraging community members to eat a more plant-based diet to reduce their carbon footprint, increase their health and show more compassion.
This revolution started on the other side of the world in the Belgian city of Ghent. Last year, the Ghent city council signed a resolution to encourage its Belgian citizens to eat vegan one day a week. The idea has caught on and in the U.S. there are now Veggie Day mayoral declarations and school lunch programs offering more meatless meals.
A plant based diet is truly a green diet that reduces the serious ecological problems involved in livestock production. Animal agriculture is responsible for many of the world’s most serious environmental problems including global warming, water use and pollution, energy consumption, deforestation, loss of biodiversity and species, as well as the detrimental impact of fishing to our oceans.
A 2009 report from World Bank environmental advisors, Goodland and Anhang, called Livestock and Climate Change, revealed that farmed animals and their byproducts are responsible for at least 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Goodland, who was the lead environmental adviser for the World Bank for 23 years, and Anhang, also an affiliate of the World Bank as a research officer and environmental specialist, conclude that replacing animal products with soy-based and other alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change. The report states, "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."
Findings from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report prompted Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to recommend that individuals reduce their personal carbon impact by decreasing their meat consumption and noted that, "In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it [reduced meat consumption] clearly is the most attractive opportunity. Give up meat for one day each week initially, and decrease it from there."
Plant-based diets are also good preventative medicine, reducing medical costs to individuals and the health care system. The American Dietetic Association recognizes that reduced meat consumption decreases the risk of various health and states, "Scientific data suggests positive relationships between a vegetarian diet and reduced risk for several chronic degenerative diseases and conditions, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and some types of cancer"
To learn more and get a VegDay Resolution passed in your city, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to see a list of participating San Francisco restaurants offering great deals and discounts for VegDay Monday.