On July 27, the City Council of Berkeley, California voted to shift half of the city’s spending used on animal-based foods to plant-based foods by 2024, according to an email from Direct Action Everywhere (DxE). In the long-term, the city aims to shift 100% of that spending, thereby completely committing to buying only plant-based foods. The council will review this long-term goal on June 30, 2022, according to The Daily Californian.
In the resolution, Councilmember Sophie Hahn and Mayor Jesse Arreguin emphasized that this decision would support the city’s plans to address climate change, as well as help maintain Berkeley’s place as a leader in climate action. Furthermore, they cited the huge environmental footprint that animal products have in comparison to those that are plant-based, explaining “that the world cannot meet global greenhouse gas reduction targets without significantly curbing consumption of animal products.”
The resolution follows a grassroots activist effort by groups including DxE, Extinction Rebellion Oakland, The Animal Save Movement, East Bay Animal PAC, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and The Suitcase Clinic. Over a span of 16 months, they researched, protested, and reached out to community members to advocate for the passage of this resolution, and now their hard work has come to fruition.
Change does not end with this historic shift. Animal activists are already working in other cities around the US to implement similar changes. “The public is rising up and taking action against the destructiveness of animal agriculture,” said Almira Tanner, Berkeley resident and DxE’s Lead Organizer, in the emailed release. Tanner continued, “We’re hopeful this historic step can spur a wave of legislation to protect all life on Earth while we still have time.”
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