Amid all the cost-cutting and tax increasing that the Los Angeles City Council is proposing, there’s one more thing the council would like you to give up: meat. Just on Mondays.
The council unanimously approved a resolution last week endorsing the international “Meatless Monday” campaign that began as a nonprofit initiative of the Monday Campaigns Inc. in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future.
The city will encourage residents to abstain from meat and go vegetarian one day a week for health and environmental reasons. According to the campaign, cutting back on meat can reduce risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
I would add one more good reason to go meatless every now and then. Abstaining from some animal products even for just a few meals here and there is a significant way to lessen dependence on killing animals for food, particularly under grim factory farm conditions where animals are often treated cruelly. And, yes, even animals raised to be killed for food deserve relatively cruelty-free lives before they end up on our plates.
The resolution certainly seems in line with the council’s progressive moves on animal welfare issues. But obviously this is not a mandatory requirement of city residents, nor should it be. For some, this may be too difficult to undertake. And eating meat is not necessarily an unhealthful choice.
But at a time when advocates of healthful eating are trying to show all of us, no matter our income levels, how to find and prepare more vegetables and legumes in our diets, and when voters in California and elsewhere have demonstrated that they are concerned about conditions in which food animals are raised, there’s nothing wrong with the city’s politicians urging us, for health and animal welfare reasons, to put our veggies where our mouths are. For at least one day of the week.