Exciting news for Santa Fe, New Mexico residents and the vegan community as the city’s mayor Alan Webber recently named November Vegan Awareness Month. Mayor Webber hopes this action will encourage residents to explore the many delicious vegan options available in their city and by doing so, make a positive impact on the environment, their health, and animal welfare.

The proclamation highlights the many benefits of a plant-based diet, including that every day it “saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forested lands, the equivalent of 20 pounds of CO2, and one animal’s life.”

Through this initiative, Webber says he hopes to continue Santa Fe’s legacy as “a leader in water conservation and earth-friendly practices, [. . .] support[ing] people who choose a vegan diet for whatever reason” and encouraging others to “learn about plant-based eating during November and beyond.”

The Mayo Clinic and the American Dietetic Association tout the multiple health perks of adopting a plant-based diet. The ADA states that plant-based diets “are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases” and are appropriate for any age. Consuming solely fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes helps lower and manage blood pressure and cholesterol and makes developing chronic heart disease less likely. Additionally, research shows that this diet “reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

In addition to the powerful impact a plant-based diet can have your health and the environment, eliminating animal products means no longer contributing to the rampant cruelty farm animals endure in the meat, egg dairy industries. Animals are frequently beaten, thrown, kicked, and discarded like trash. Male chicks in the egg industry are sometimes ground alive as they do not produce eggs and therefore are seen as unimportant. Pigs are confined to such small quarters that they are unable to move or stand. These are only a few examples of the awful conditions in which these animals must live.

We applaud Mayor Webber for this initiative and hope it will inspire more civic leaders to follow suit.