The City Council asked Friday that large city venues, such as Los Angeles International Airport and the zoo, provide a report on the possibility of providing more vegan meal options at concession stands.
City Councilman Paul Koretz championed the motion that requires the venues to report back in 45 days on ways to provide more options for plant-based diets, citing in part the impacts of agriculture and the meat industry on climate change.
“Certainly, climate change is something none of us can miss, especially in the last few days with the wildfires constantly surrounding us and the Amazon rainforest still burning,” Koretz said. “What this does is not force anybody to eat vegan, but it’s a guarantee that Los Angeles’ residents and visitors, in places where they’re captive audiences, like the airport, have access to vegan options.”
The reports prepared by the various venues must explore the potential of meal options that have a vegan protein, such as beans or quinoa.
Representatives from the Sierra Club who came to support the motion said the city should “give peas a chance.”
Koretz asked that LAX study the feasibility of placing a vegan restaurant in every terminal, and that other restaurants in security areas provide at least one vegan-protein meal.
The vegan options would also apply to the subsidized Meals on Wheels program.
The reports are expected to come back to the council for consideration in December.
Koretz described himself as a “reducetarian,” someone who is trying to reduce their meat consumption as much as possible without fully committing to vegetarian or vegan diets.
In a statement, Koretz said many Angelenos have “expressed frustration” when trying to find plant-based protein options in many Los Angeles city concessions.
“While some, like Dodger Stadium, are already doing a great job, the legislation would require all city venues that serve food and large-scale entertainment venues in the city, which provide food for sale, to provide at least one vegan/plant-based protein entree food option on their menus,” Koretz said.
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, earlier this month ranked Dodger Stadium is the seventh-most accommodating ballpark in Major League Baseball for vegans, offering dishes such as Beyond Burgers, which are made from a cocktail of plant-based ingredients, and tacos made from tempeh, which is made from fermented soy beans.
Actress Bonnie Wright, best known for her role as Ginny Weasley in the “Harry Potter” film series, appeared with Koretz to advocate for more vegan options. Wright is a member of the eco-activist group Greenpeace.
“Until we have options and access to make better choices, we can’t systemically address the climate crisis,” Wright said. “Today is a clear example of how policy can give us freedom of (choice).”
The council motion was passed on Food Day L.A., which was celebrated at Los Angeles City Hall and hosted with the theme “Currents of Food: Changing Our Food System Through Art and Culture.”
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