City council just approved an ordinance to cut down its spending on animal-based products.
Going to events and buildings with no vegan options is a struggle most plant-based peeps know all too well. Whether you’re attending a work meeting, outdoor gathering, or concert, it’s always best to come prepared with snacks. But in one Northern California city, a lack of vegan food will be a thing of the past! Thanks to a recent ordinance, the city of Berkeley will now serve vegan meals at public events and city buildings.
Vegan Options at Berkeley Public Events, Jails, Senior Centers, and Other City Buildings
Earlier this week, an ordinance was approved that requires the city of Berkeley to offer plant-based foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds at public buildings. This means there will be vegan options at Berkeley public events, jails, senior centers, and other city buildings—but the ordinance does not apply to schools, as they are run by an independent school district.
The first-of-its-kind measure is the work of the Berkeley-based animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere, as well as the city’s Mayor, Jesse Arreguín, who approved and co-authored the ordinance. Direct Action Everywhere proposed for the city to serve 100% plant-based food but the city officials opted for a more gradual shift. By the end of 2024, the city will slash its spending on animal-based products in half.
Berkeley’s Progressive Environmental Efforts
This new plant-forward ordinance isn’t the first of Berkeley’s progressive environmental efforts. The city was the first to implement a trash recycling program in the 1970s and the first to ban natural gas lines from new buildings in 2019. With their new initiative to cut back on animal-based foods, Berkeley continues to set the bar for what cities can do to help reduce climate change. But this is only the beginning! With this win, Direct Action Everywhere is pushing for similar ordinances to be passed in other major cities like Chicago and San Francisco.