New York City is quickly becoming the epicenter of the vegan world as newly elected Mayor Eric Adams keeps his plant-based campaign promises to help New Yorkers eat healthier. Adams just announced that New York City is getting its own plant-based holiday, declaring that March 20 is officially MeatOut Day in NYC. The proclamation signed this week teams up with the MeatOut initiative to promote plant-based eating across the entire city, hosting events for the entire week to help introduce vegan and plant-forward diets to all New Yorkers.

Founded in 1985, the MeatOut initiative started as a project from the animal rights group Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM). The campaign aims to educate people about healthy, nutrient-rich diets that cut out or reduce meat and dairy consumption. Beginning on March 20, the MeatOut holiday will kick off a weeklong celebration lasting five days until March 25. The New York City government and the MeatOut initiative will also work closely with the vegan eatery P.S. Kitchen in Manhattan.

“As a New Yorker myself, I am particularly proud of this proclamation,” FARM Executive Director Eric C. Lindstrom said in a statement. “The advances Mayor Adams has made toward a plant-based future, and Vegan Fridays in New York City schools, align perfectly with our mission and the mission of MeatOut.”

New York City is the latest city to join the MeatOut Initiative. Currently, the MeatOut holiday is celebrated in more than 40 states and cities including Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; Riverside, California; and Louisville, Kentucky. Most recently, Colorado Governor Jared Polis declared that March 20 would be MeatOut Day for the entire state. The declaration was not well-received by everyone, however, and Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts responded by making March 20th “Meat on the Menu Day” in his state.

Despite some backlash, MeatOut Day’s impact is widespread and the initiative intends to present a comprehensive introduction to plant-based living. The campaign highlights how plant-based eating is helpful for human health, the environment, and reducing animal cruelty. MeatOut Day’s nearly 40-year legacy also has inspired several other campaigns, including Paul McCartney's Meat Free Monday initiative.

New York City Goes Vegan

Mayor Adams fell into controversy soon after his election when an exposé revealed that he sometimes ate fish, at odds with his previously reported veganism. Although the realization incited some outrage, the mayor continues to promote plant-forward approaches to issues pressing New Yorkers. From food insecurity to unsustainability, Adams’ policies consistently prioritize vegan eating. Most recently, New York City’s public school system introduced “Vegan Fridays” across all public schools in the city.

The Vegan Fridays initiative aims to bring plant-based, nutritious foods to all one million students enrolled in the city's school system. The campaign will tackle food insecurity and help educate younger generations about the benefits of healthier, plant-forward eating.

“Plant-based options in schools mean healthy eating and healthy living, and improving the quality of life for thousands of New York City students,” Adams said at the time. “Plant-based meals are delicious and nutritious, which is why I previously called for vegetarian and vegan options in schools. I’m thrilled to see that all students will now have access to healthy foods that will prevent debilitating health conditions.”

Before becoming mayor, Adams frequently advocated for plant-based approaches to policies, both within New York City and nationally. The then-Brooklyn Borough President urged the Biden-Harris Administration to implement plant-based solutions to racial and financial disparities nationwide. Adams claimed it was the federal government’s responsibility to fix food deserts through a sustainable and plant-based approach, providing millions of Americans with nutritious options otherwise difficult to find.

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