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In April 2012, the City of Oakland issued a resolution that encourages residents to eliminate meat consumption for Oakland Veg Week. Among other things, the resolution officially recognizes the negative impacts of livestock production on the environment, and the health benefits of decreasing or eliminating meat from the diet. We congratulate the City of Oakland for making recommendations to residents that encourage increased care for the environment, healthy living, and compassion toward animals. Watch the proceedings of Kristie Middleton receiving the Oakland Veg Week Resolution from Oakland City Council Member, Nancy Nadel.

Read the full text of the proclamation below


WHEREAS, the City of Oakland is dedicated to the preservation of the environment and natural resources; and

WHEREAS, the City of Oakland is dedicated to green initiatives and green management; and

WHEREAS, the City of Oakland is dedicated to the health of its citizens; and

WHEREAS, a report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization documents that livestock production is “one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems,” degrades land, pollutes water, and is a significant contributor to global warming; and

WHEREAS, Oakland passed a landmark Energy and Climate Action Plan in 2011 with the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and

WHEREAS, raising animals for food, including growing and processing the crops to feed them, is far more water-intensive than eating plant-based products directly; and

WHEREAS, the head of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommended that individuals reduce their carbon footprint by decreasing their meat consumption and noted, “In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it [reduced meat consumption] clearly is the most attractive opportunity. Give up meat for one day each week initially, and decrease it from there”; and

WHEREAS, leading public figures advocate for reduced meat consumption, such as Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeOeneres—who both have websites dedicated to this issue—and President Bill Clinton—whose meat-free diet has been the subject of numerous major news stories; and

WHEREAS, childhood obesity rates are at an all-time high with thirty-one percent of adolescents ages 12- to 17-years-old, and one-in-three California children ages 9-11 years old, at risk of or are already overweight; and WHEREAS, the American Dietetic Association recognizes that reduced meat consumption decreases the risk of various health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and various cancers; and

WHEREAS, nearly 10 billion birds, pigs and cows, most of whom live on massive factory farms that cause animal suffering and environmental destruction, are slaughtered for food each year in the United States, and The Humane Society of the United States finds that “if each one of us cuts back on our animal consumption by only 10%, approximately one billion animals would be spared a lifetime of suffering each year”; and

WHEREAS, the City of Cincinnati’s Food Task Force recommended that residents replace some of the meat in their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables; and

WHEREAS, the former Chicago health commissioner encouraged residents to join him in going meatless for a month to reduce obesity and lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol; and

WHEREAS, Oakland Unified School District is practicing Meatless Monday each week to introduce students to healthy vegetarian options and to benefit the environment; and

WHEREAS, California municipalities like Marin County and San Diego have recognized Veg Week out of concern for the humane treatment of animals, environmental sustainability, and public health; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED: the City of Oakland proclaims the week of April 15-21, 2012, as “Oakland Veg Week,” and encourages Oakland residents, restaurants, schools, grocery stores, organizations and other institutions to join public officials in choosing and offering a greater variety of vegetarian foods.

Categories: Policy

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