“Meatless Monday,” a popular program intended to reduce consumption of animal products, is expanding to all 1,800 NYC public schools this September, said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference on March 11th. The new program will offer students “healthy, all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every Monday,” according to the press release.
The city’s vegetarian school lunch program began back in Spring 2018, serving just 15 public schools in Brooklyn. But after only 18 months, the program’s success, combined with the city and Mayor’s devotion to fighting back against climate change, has encouraged officials to extend the program to all 1.1 million children in the NYC public school system.
Mark Chambers, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, said of recent announcement:
“Reducing our appetite for meat is one of the single biggest ways individuals can reduce their environmental impact on our planet. Meatless Mondays will introduce hundreds of thousands of young New Yorkers to the idea that small changes in their diet can create larger changes for their health and the health of our planet.”
Policymakers, academics, health professionals, and environmental and animal activists across the country are commending the city on this latest effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diet-related diseases.
Recent reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Eat Lancet Commission call unabashedly for the increased adoption of plant-based diets to address rising global temperatures and world hunger. With the human population estimated to reach almost 10 billion by 2050, large-scale governmental commitments to a more healthful, sustainable food system are increasingly a necessity, not a stretch goal.
We at Compassion USA congratulate Mayor de Blasio and the NYC administration for taking steps to combat cruel, environmentally-destructive factory farming practices while fostering a growing interest in a more humane, just, and sustainable future within the next generation.
Interested in committing to a compassionate and climate-friendly plant-based diet? Sign up to #EatPlantsForAChange today for FREE resources on how to make the switch—it’s easier, and tastier, than ever before!