New York City and veganism
Earlier this year, a landlord in New York City put up two Brooklyn properties in the same building for rent. Seems normal right? One catch: the new tenants would not be allowed to cook meat in these properties. They would be allowed, however, to order take-out containing animal products.
Let’s put our ethical beliefs about veganism and potential tenant discrimination aside for a second because something interesting came from this announcement. MorningStar Farms, a division of the Kellogg Company that produces frozen vegetarian and vegan food, got wind of everything going on in New York City. The food company offered to help the future tenant with one month’s rent and a year’s supply of vegan food products. From breakfast to dinner to everything in between, MorningStar Farms offer meatless food options that are produced with less greenhouse gas emissions, water and land use. The Brooklyn properties appear to have been rented out.
New York City and veganism
New York City is on brand for offering this type of “restriction” as it has been ranked among the top five U.S. states with the highest number of vegans (following Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Hawaii) – with approximately 622 vegans per one million people in the city. Since becoming mayor in 2022, Eric Adams has been encouraging the citizens of New York City to eat more plant-based foods. He announced that all NYC hospitals would serve plant-based food as default and also declared a meat-free holiday in March. Moreover, over 1700 schools in New York City launched “vegan Fridays” to improve public health. The meals would be available for free to the 930,000 children who attend NYC public schools.
Much of the world is trending towards a more plant-based and vegan lifestyle. The number of Americans identifying as vegans have increased by over 3000 percent in the past 15 years. The USA has become so accommodating to vegans over the last few years that most fast-food restaurants already have at least one if not more, vegan-friendly options. It is common now to walk into a grocery store and see vegan and plant-based options on the shelves.
Why people to are turning to veganism
Many people are turning to veganism to help protect the environment. Experts say giving up animal products for a month could save as many greenhouse gas emissions as moving 160,000 cars from the road or about 400,000 to 500,000 single flights from London to Berlin. Additional benefits of incorporating a vegan lifestyle and moving away from animal agriculture which is very energy intensive, include:
- Reducing emissions from livestock which are attributed to the emissions caused by the animals themselves and the land and resources necessary to raise them.
- Reduces energy consumption – most of which fossil fuels are responsible for meat processing.
- Helps to conserve water
- Protects rainforests and lands
- And more.
The animal agriculture industry is highly polluting and, in some instances, quite unethical, making people shift to sustainable diets. Not to say you can’t get your protein in while being a vegan. There are many sources of protein found in legumes, grains and even algae which significantly impact plant-based diets.
The landlord situation is unique but might encourage people to eat less meat, especially if a company like MorningStars Farms is giving you the resources to do so. The potential rise of vegan apartment buildings represents a positive shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle. When you combine a city like New York City and veganism, or even in a country like the United States, where veganism is on the rise, vegans might outnumber non-vegans in the not-too-distant future.