A letter despatched to President Joe Biden by Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MA) and 31 different United States Home of Representatives members urges for no less than one vegetarian entrée at each federal facility throughout the nation. The letter asks for a meatless meal to be a requirement for federal amenities starting from museums to nationwide parks to navy bases. 

The Congress members are asking the White Home to implement this transformation for myriad causes, together with to offer extra entry for presidency workers and guests to federal amenities to plant-based meals that assist curb diseases resembling Kind 2 diabetes, weight problems, and coronary heart illness, whereas on the similar time decreasing the nation’s carbon footprint. Within the letter, the Congress members cited statistics from the Environmental Safety Company that present animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gasoline emissions. 

“An increasing number of Individuals are all in favour of vegetarian choices—particularly youthful Individuals, who’re in search of out more healthy choices that additionally scale back their carbon footprint,” the lawmakers wrote. “Though the Meals Service Tips for Federal Services recommends that federal amenities ‘provide protein meals from vegetation’ and defines an entrée as ‘meat’ or ‘meat alternate,’ vegetarian entrées are nonetheless not routinely offered at federal amenities … To assist make sure the federal authorities is main by its personal meals practices, we urge you to make a vegetarian entrée obtainable in every single place the federal authorities is serving our individuals a meal.”

The Congress members deliberately despatched their demand letter forward of the White Home Convention on Starvation, Vitamin and Well being, an occasion in September when the Biden Administration will map out its technique to alleviate starvation, enhance vitamin, and improve bodily exercise throughout the nation.  

Vegan meals on federal menus

Individually from the Congress members’ letter, a push for vegan meals on navy menus is underway, as nicely. In June, animal-rights group Mercy For Animals (MFA) launched findings from a survey it carried out which discovered {that a} majority of US military members wanted access to plant-based meals, significantly ready-made meals (or MREs).

Since then, Congress members have made amendments to the 2023 Nationwide Protection Authorization Act (NDAA) to encourage the navy to discover plant-based meals on menus. Home Consultant Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) submitted a provision that checks plant-based meat options on no less than two Naval bases to find out the demand for such choices and the feasibility in implementing them throughout extra bases. This program is about to start by March 1, 2023.

Individually, Consultant Ro Khanna (D-CA) pushed forth an modification to the NDAA that may discover plant-based MREs throughout the US navy as a complete. The modification requires the Protection Logistics Company of the Division of Protection to generate a report that features a research of service member preferences, a feasibility research into the manufacturing of plant-based MREs, and a proposed plan to create and provide plant-based MREs to lively service members. This report is due on September 30, 2023.

Navy amenities and different federal cafeterias would possibly see extra vegetarian meals sooner ought to the White Home heed the decision of the letter submitted by Raskin and 31 Congress members. 


Jamie Raskin’s vegetarian journey

Jamie Raskin’s management within the effort to get a meatless meal on each federal facility menu is knowledgeable by his personal expertise with a vegetarian eating regimen. The Congressman adopted a meatless eating regimen for one week in 2009 throughout the first ever Attempt Veg Week—organized by Animal Outlook (recognized then as “Compassion Over Killing”)—in Takoma Park, MD, whereas he was serving as a State Senator in Maryland. 

Finally, he determined to keep it up for numerous causes. On the time, Raskin informed VegNews that consuming vegetarian meals not solely made him really feel bodily higher however got here with environmental advantages, too. “It additionally made me really feel higher politically as a result of I lastly lined up my menu with my morals,” Raskin mentioned. “I’ve seen what the poultry business has carried out to the Chesapeake Bay and I’m glad to not be implicated personally within the persevering with contamination of our most valuable estuary by advantage of consuming hen nuggets every single day.”

Raskin’s son, Tommy Raskin, was by his aspect when he went vegetarian in 2009. Tommy Raskin finally grew to become a vegan animal-rights activist and in 2017, he shared a poem he wrote, titled The place Conflict Begins, throughout AO’s DC VegFest that touched on the interconnectedness of all beings and their shared struggling by the hands of exploitation. 

Tragically, Tommy Raskin died by suicide on the age of 25 on the finish of 2020 however his legacy and animal-rights activism will perpetually be remembered and carried on. After his demise, the Raskin household arrange the Tommy Raskin Memorial Fund for People and Animals, which can distribute funds on a semi-annual foundation to the charities and causes closest to the activist’s coronary heart, together with Oxfam, Give Straight, the Helen Keller Institute, and AO.

For the most recent vegan information, learn:
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