In a historic move, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will require all hospitals, healthcare facilities, and prisons to offer plant-based meals!

The legislation, called Senate Bill 1138, was authored by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and co-sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Social Compassion in Legislation.

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Skinner celebrated the victory, stating: “Whether to protect animals, our climate or our health, those of us who choose to eat a vegan diet can celebrate today with Gov. Brown’s signing of SB 1138 … SB 1138 ensures that people in hospitals, healthcare facilities, or prison have access to plant-based meals.”

Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., stated: “Thanks to Sen. Nancy Skinner and Gov. Jerry Brown for passing this historic law that will provide plant-based options to hospital patients looking to fight heart disease, diabetes, and obesity — or who simply want a more healthful meal … Now, it’s time for California hospitals to start putting into practice the plant-based meals recommended by the American Medical Association and the American College of Cardiology.”

And there’s an additional bonus for these establishments — it is estimated that plant-based meals will cost HALF as much as meat-based ones.

This is such awesome news! The irony of the abundance of processed meats (which are in the same carcinogenic class as cigarettes and asbestos), dairy, and cholesterol-laden everything at hospitals, places of health, is undeniable, and it is high time a law like this is enforced. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

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Animal-derived food products are not good for our health, animals, or the planet as a whole. Of course, we all know diets heavy in animal fats are linked to diseases and conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, which all, in turn, weigh heavily on our country’s healthcare system and cost taxpayers loads of money, but animal agriculture is also dangerous for the health of society as a whole. The worldwide epidemic of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and diseases like H1N1 and avian flu are very real threats to public health which have healthcare professionals at their wits’ ends trying to combat.

Thank you, California, for standing as a leader and recognizing that our society’s food system needs to shift away from animal products toward plants for the sake of health. We hope this new law eventually extends to other establishments as well, like schools and government buildings, which may not be too far into the future, as Berkeley has just made it the law for city-run events and city council meetings to offer ONLY plant-based meals.

To learn how our food choices impact our health and the health of the rest of the world, be sure to check out the Eat for the Planet book!

And remember to SHARE this with your network as a reminder of the health benefits of a plant-based diet!

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Image Source: Pixabay 

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