West Hollywood goes vegan: Plant-based food now required at city events, meetings

The West Hollywood City Council has voted to require that plant-based food be served at all city-produced events and meetings at which food is provided, while animal products at such events will be available only upon request.

Officials said the policy was motivated by a desire to transition to sustainable and compassionate food choices, and cited what they called the harmful environmental effects of the factory farming industry.

"Every aspect of a food system, from production to distribution, intersects with the climate crisis," according to the council's resolution.

"... Plant-based meals have on average, a 63% lower carbon footprint than animal-based meals, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has recognized eating more plant-based foods as among the most effective ways for individuals to reduce their carbon footprints," it continued.

City officials said they will prioritize the procurement of plant-based foods from locally owned businesses when possible.

SUGGESTED: Vegans protest LA restaurant after they added meat, dairy to menu

The policy was approved on consent at Monday's meeting and will take effect immediately. It does not apply to co-sponsored events or private events taking place in the city.

The animal advocacy group Mercy For Animals, which lobbied in favor of the resolution, said it "greatly appreciates Vice Mayor (Chelsea Lee) Byers for championing this policy change."

"As more people choose plant-based food for their health, the environment and animals, Mercy For Animals works with local governments so that public purchasing reflects this shift. Mercy For Animals commends the city of West Hollywood's commitment to serving plant-based food by default," Mercy For Animals CEO and president Leah Garcés said in a statement.

In February, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to incorporate more plant-based food and fewer animal products into the food it offers at county-run facilities as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.