On April 6, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favour of legislation to promote a meat- and fish-free start to the week in the US’s 12th most populous city.
The resolution “urge[s] all restaurants, grocery stores and schools to offer a greater variety of plant-based options to improve the health of San Francisco residents and visitors, and to increase the awareness of the impact a green diet would have on our planet”.
What will become known as “Vegetarian Day” was introduced by supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who has been a vegetarian for 40 years. “I am a vegetarian. I think it’s important that people feel the alternative and that we talk about it,” she said, adding that the scheme could offer businesses a marketing opportunity.
The city council has proved its food credentials in the past by recommending that restaurants take foie gras off the menu and passing another resolution urging business not use eggs from caged birds.
San Francisco is the first American city to embrace meatless Monday, and follows in the footsteps of Ghent in Belgium, which went meat-free (albeit on a Thursday) last year.
More than 80,000 students in Baltimore have been enjoying a Meat Free Monday since October last year. New York City’s department of education is also reported to be considering adopting the campaign.