To the editor:
Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City public schools deserve high marks for pledging to serve more meat-free meals in the 2019-20 school year in order to help reduce greenhouse grass emissions and promote healthy living.
Researchers have found that consumption of meat and other animal-derived foods is responsible for almost 84 percent of food-related greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Fruits and vegetables, cereals and grains, and nuts and seeds all make up less than 3 percent of food-related emissions.
And unlike mystery meat, chicken nuggets and pepperoni pizza, vegan foods are cholesterol-free, generally low in fat, and high in fiber and other nutrients. Vegans tend to be leaner and less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other health problems.
Studies also show that wholesome vegan foods have brain-boosting properties that can help students focus while they’re studying or taking a test.
We should all encourage young people to make healthy, humane and environmentally friendly choices — on Mondays and every day of the week.
The author is a writer for the PETA Foundation, which works with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.