L.A. City Council May Mandate Public Venues Sell Vegan Food Because Climate Change

"It makes sense from a fairness perspective"

A protester from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) displays a placard from a bathtub as a people looks on during a demonstration to call on the public to eat more vegetables to save water, in Sao Paulo on August 2, 2016.
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Vegans have been striking back against their carnivorous overlords in big ways recently. Aside from PETA's new list of animal-friendly idioms, the L.A. City Council is now considering legislation that would force public venues to sell vegan food.

According to Laist, L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz introduced a motion on Tuesday that would mandate vegan options be made available in various public spaces, such as large-scale entertainment venues, airport terminals, sports stadiums, and movie theaters. Though L.A. World Airports, which operates LAX, currently has one vegan restaurant, "Real Food Daily," the law could force every terminal to install at least one "vegan protein entree food option," depending on the feasibility.

Councilman Paul Koretz told reporters that inspiration for the law stemmed from the rising number of vegans in Los Angeles and, of course, climate change. "We only have a few years to dramatically drop our greenhouse gas production and production of beef items, especially, generates so much methane. Without reducing our beef consumption, it's going to be very difficult for us to reduce climate change," he said.

Environmentalists have long tried to bully people into eating vegan vis-a-vis climate change, with many often suggesting that greenhouse gas emissions would drop by a quarter.

Armaiti May, a veterinarian who believes veganism will help curtail climate change, supports the Koretz initiative.

"People need to have the ability to choose a healthy, compassionate, eco-friendly food choice wherever they go," May told reporters. "And with the current crisis we're experiencing with climate change, it's even more important that these vegan options be available."

May said that vegans often face challenges when visiting public venues due to the lack of food options available to them. That rule applies even in places like Los Angeles.

"Basically you have to get trail mix or maybe a piece of fruit but there's not that much in terms of a hot food item," she said. "If you're hungry, you're kind of just left to fend for yourself."

Cesar Asebedo, another vegan activist, told reporters he often experiences that frustration at places like LAX. "If you're flying, you take some bars or some type of protein with you," he said, "but now it'll be awesome to be able to see it on the menu, stated and required: vegan."

Koretz thinks that mandating public venues to sell a certain kind of food is not only the environmentally conscious thing to do, but also the fairest. "It makes sense from a fairness perspective, an environmental perspective, but also it makes sense in terms of marketing," he says.

Vegans certainly love the idea; managers and owners of these public venues not so much. Koretz, however, says that he is prepared to fight the coming backlash that businesses will launch against the city forcing them to include items on their menus.

"In a group, the person that's vegan decides where the whole group ends up eating," Koretz said. "So a lot of restaurants are leaving money on the table by not offering some vegan options."

Laist reports that the motion will be heard by a special committee before passing it on to the full city council. A majority of the 15 councilmembers will have to approve it before the city attorney could draft into law, which could go into effect as early as February 2019.

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