The Meatless Monday movement continues to grow. It has now come to our nation’s capital. In June, the Washington, D.C. City Council issued a proclamation adopting Meatless Mondays. The resolution was introduced by Councilmember Yvette Alexander and unanimously adopted by the D.C. City Council. After the introduction ceremony, Compassion Over Killing served over 100 free vegan meals for D.C. City Council members, staff, interns, and others in attendance of the event.
The D.C. resolution is bolder than those of other cities. Consider the opening:
To acknowledge the obesity epidemic in the District of Columbia, to highlight the benefits of diets high in fruits and vegetables, to encourage residents to abstain from animal products on Mondays, and to celebrate the abundance of produce grown in community gardens and in neighboring regions.
Notice it doesn’t ask people to just give up meat on Mondays, it asks for people to forgo all animal products. It’s not just a call for a Meatless Monday, but for a Vegan Monday. The resolution also does a great job in detailing all the reasons to go meatless, from health and environmental concerns to reducing animal suffering. It’s a excellent brief on why to go vegan or vegetarian, if only for a day.
One response to the D.C. resolution came from the good people at Miriam’s Kitchen, an organization that provides free, homemade meals and support services to more than 4,000 homeless men and women each year. They have decided to make all the meals they serve on Friday meat-free. No, Meatless Friday doesn’t have quite the same ring as Meatless Monday, but the choice of day is dictated by their donation schedule.
According to DC Vegan, “Support for Miriam’s new meat-free initiative has been overwhelming, with donations of tofu, tempeh and other vegan products rolling in from Whole Foods Market P Street, Whole Foods Market Georgetown, Nasoya, Turtle Island Foods, Gardein Garden Protein, Lightlife Foods and others.”
This isn’t the first time Miriam’s Kitchen has dabbled with meat-free meals. Last summer, volunteers from PETA worked in the kitchen and prepared what was called the “first vegan breakfast in Miriam’s Kitchen history.”
When it comes to meatless eating, Washington, D.C. has become a real inspiration for the rest of the country to follow. No wonder they are regularly listed as one of the Most Veg-Friendly Cities in North America.
Want to join the Meatless Monday movement? Check out David Orr’s new weekly column with seasonal, meat-free recipes over on the Sustainable Food blog.
Photo Credit: PETA