Presenting its “DC Meat Free Monday” ceremonial resolution on 29 June, council members and staff then enjoyed more than 100 meatless meals courtesy of Compassion Over Killing.
Most of the hard work of promoting the idea was done by DC resident Amber McDonald (pictured far left), who also helped draft the resolution.
“To get the resolution through, I just asked – and asked and asked and asked. I called and emailed and ultimately made appointments to see council members or their staff. Once I could talk to them in person, people were very receptive to the idea of meat-free Mondays. Given all the research in support of it, how could they not be? Of course, not everyone would meet with me, but then I just went to the next name on my list.”
Council member Alexander immediately wanted to move forward with the proposal, however: “She saw that this was something the city needed, and she was ready to act.”
A similar resolution was passed in San Francisco earlier this year – it is an endorsement rather than a law, but one that campaigners see as a tool to encourage others to sign up to a Meat Free Monday, including restaurants and other organisations.
In Washington DC it has already been taken up by, among others, Miriam’s Kitchen, which provides meals for the homeless, and it is hoped the school system will soon follow suit.
“Meat-free Mondays in the school system could start to turn around our childhood obesity epidemic,” says McDonald.