West Hollywood Announces ‘Groundbreaking’ Plant-Based Policy

West Hollywood is about to become more plant-based

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3 Minutes Read

An aerial view of West Hollywood, which has just introduced a plant-based policy Plant foods will now be the default at West Hollywood City organized events - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

The City of West Hollywood has voted in favor of serving plant-based food by default at all city-produced events and meetings. 

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In a move described as “groundbreaking” by animal advocacy organization Mercy For Animals, the new policy is aimed at reducing the environmental, public health, and animal impact of the area’s food choices. Animal products may still be served at events, but only on request. 

The new policy has been named “The Plant Based Food Policy for City-Sponsored Events.” Vice mayor Chelsea Lee Byers spearheaded the motion, working closely with Mercy For Animals staff and volunteers. The Center for Biological Diversity and Greener by Default also testified in favor of the policy. 

“Mercy For Animals calls for a shift to a plant-based food system, so we greatly appreciate Vice Mayor Byers for championing this policy change in West Hollywood,” Mercy For Animals CEO and president, Leah Garcés, said in a statement. “As more people choose plant-based food for their health, the environment and animals, Mercy For Animals works with local governments so that public purchasing reflects this shift. Mercy For Animals commends the City of West Hollywood’s commitment to serving plant-based food by default.”

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Plant-based is better for animals, us, and the planet

The outside of West Hollywood City Hall
Adobe Stock West Hollywood City passed the motion

In a world where around 92 billion land animals (plus around two trillion fishes*) are killed for food each year, it’s well-known that plant-based options greatly reduce animal suffering. 

And, as the West Hollywood policy document outlines, choosing plant-based foods is beneficial for humans as well. 

“Current food norms may sometimes make it challenging, especially for people with cultural and/or religious dietary restrictions, and people with certain allergies or medically prescribed diets, to feel included with food options at meetings and events where meat and/or dairy tend to be at the center of food options,” the document states. It goes on to say that plant-based default foods benefit the 30-50 million Americans who are lactose intolerant.

Studies have shown that eating a plant-based diet reduces our individual carbon footprint by around 75 percent. Animal agriculture contributes to around 16.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and it’s also a leading driver of deforestation and biodiversity loss.

“Serving plant-based foods by default has proven to be a tremendously effective yet simple strategy to support people in consuming healthier and more sustainable foods, thereby reducing catering water, land, and carbon footprints,” the document states. 

*While the English language typically refers to multiple fishes as “fish,” we use “fishes” to emphasize their individuality

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