This week, the City of Mountain View—the Silicon Valley headquarters of tech giant Google—approved a new Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) that includes measures to promote plant-based eating to residents through city-organized events and programs. The SAP was created after lobbying efforts in the region by nonprofit Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, a group that promotes Green Monday (a Hong Kong-based organization working to tackle the climate crisis) initiatives throughout the region. Mountain View mayor Lisa Matichak—a lifelong vegetarian—welcomes the SAP, stating that she “would like to see more emphasis on the plant-based diet program.” Mountain View councilmembers are currently discussing the specifics of the new programs with a plan to have a variety of initiatives in place next year. “Do we want to consider prohibiting the use of public funds in purchasing meat or animal-based food products?” Councilmember Lucas Ramirez suggested. “That’s the kind of transformative policy I can see coming out of this.” Resident Mohan Gurunathan spearheaded the local effort and believes that prioritizing the shift toward a plant-based diet is an effective strategy to drive down the city’s carbon emissions. “I applaud the city for taking a leadership role in promoting sustainable food choices, which is one of the most critical—and most often overlooked—issues facing our children’s future,” Gurunathan said. Local elected officials are increasingly adopting policies that focus on promoting plant-based foods in an effort to fight climate change, including Santa Fe, NM mayor Alan Webber who recently signed a proclamation declaring November “Vegan Awareness Month.”
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