LOS ANGELES -
Los Angeles Friday became the largest city in the nation to support "Meatless Monday," an international campaign to reduce the consumption of meat for health and environmental reasons.
The City Council voted 12-0 to support the non-binding resolution in support of Los Angeles residents cutting meat out of their diets one day per week.
Councilwoman Jan Perry, who co-introduced the motion with Councilman Ed Reyes, said excessive meat consumption has been linked to health problems such as colon, prostate, kidney and breast cancers, as well as heart disease.
"Eating less meat can prevent and even reverse some of our nation's most common illnesses," Perry said.
She said reducing meat consumption also has environmental benefits. The process of raising and slaughtering livestock accounts for 70 percent of global freshwater use and nearly 20 percent of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions, Perry said.
"We've become disconnected in some ways from the simple truth that our health is directly affected by the foods we eat," she said.
Reyes said it is easy for individuals to feel helpless in the face of issues as big as global warming or the obesity epidemic, "but the small changes we make every day can have a tremendous impact. That's why this 'Meatless Monday' resolution is important. Together we can better our health, the animals and the environment, one plate at a time."
Jaya Bhumitra, campaigns director for the group Compassion Over Killing, said cutting meat one day a week will reduce people's carbon footprint by the equivalent of two days of driving.
"Every time we choose vegetarian foods, we're helping build a kinder, cleaner and healthier world," Bhumitra said.