vegan food

Will providing a vegan food option at movie theaters in Los Angeles help save the planet? City councilman Paul Koretz thinks so, and he has the data to back him up. Citing several studies that draw a connection between the production of animal products and the negative effects of climate change, Koretz has introduced a motion that would require large entertainment venues, city parks, airport restaurants, and movie theaters to require vegan options for customers.

According to a local CBS affiliate (via Variety), Koretz spoke at a recent press conference and announced the proposal, which would require several venues including movie theaters to offer at least one vegan protein option for sale. If the law eventually passes, it “would make Los Angeles the first city in the nation to impose such a mandate.”

Speaking with Variety, Koretz explained that it would not be difficult for theaters to enact this type of change: “There’s really no downside to it. The change could easily be made in any venue. A movie theater serves hot dogs. They can serve vegan dogs. It’s easy.”

One of the studies Koretz used to strengthen his case is from the University of Oxford, where a group found that “if more people in the United States adopted plant-based eating, it could cut greenhouse gas emissions from food sources by 70 percent.” Eater LA reports that the motion still needs to get approval from the city attorney’s office and get approval from the rest of the city council before it could go into effect.

This strikes me as a great idea, but to play devil’s advocate, I suppose if I ran a privately-owned theater, I could maybe understand being slightly peeved at the local government rolling in and dishing out a requirement for my menu. But like Koretz said, it’s incredibly easy for an establishment to offer just one vegan protein option. This wouldn’t be putting a big burden on theater owners, and the tangible benefits would clearly outweigh any downside. Theater owners are supposed to be thinking outside the box anyway and coming up with ideas for how to lure people into theaters in the age of streaming, and adding a vegan option in a famously health-conscious city seems like a smart business move that could result in more people being more willing to spend more money at the concession stand, which is where theaters make the majority of their money anyway.

We’ll keep you updated about whether this motion actually makes it through the gamut of meetings and committees in tact, but if it does, expect other big cities to follow.

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