Paul Koretz, councilman for the 5th District of the City of Los Angeles, has spent the last several years proposing initiatives making waves in the press and garnering praise from the public. From initiating the proposal to ban the sale of fur in L.A., to restricting the use of plastic straws in restaurants, Koretz is becoming a stalwart figure for animal-rights advocates and environmentalists.
In a press conference announcing his most recently proposed law, Koretz pointed to several environmental reasons as to why the plant-based option requirement is important, citing studies that show meat and dairy being linked to green-house gas emissions.
In the already vegan-conscious L.A., requiring plant-based options will not be seen as a hurdler for those already offering an inclusive menu. Many restaurants and venues have long been hip to the fact that the growing plant-based consumer segment has immense purchasing power; its just good business to offer clearly marked and dedicated ‘vegan’ items.
Many public venues already serve items like the Impossible Burger, a plant-based protein that has been popping up in restaurants as a beef-patty alternative. The Dodger Stadium offers vegan hotdogs, and the Staples Center has an assortment of vegan fare. Plus, the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is mentioned in the proposed legislation as a venue that would be required to offer vegan items, has a number of restaurants catering to veggie needs already. LAX even has a full plant-based restaurant, Real Food Daily, however, the law would require every vendor within the airport to have a vegan offering.
Still, at the end of the day, this is a law that would force private establishments to do something that might go against their brand or bottom line. Those that balk at the law will not go down without a fight, and we will surely hear from them in the coming months.
The majority of the L.A. council members will have to approve the proposal before it goes to the city attorney, who would then draft it into law. If approved, L.A. would be the first city to require venues to offer plant-based food items.
Anna Keeve is a contributing author for a number of publications and the founder of experiential pop-up dining company, PlantBasedPopUp.