Giving Compass' Take:

• Just as hospitals and prisons already have a responsibility to provide kosher, vegetarian and halal meals, so too will they now have to provide plant-based meals for vegans in California, as The New Food Economy reports.

• Is the desired outcome better health or slimmer budgets (or does it matter)? What can we do to improve the overall food ecosystem through reforms such as this one?

Let's define what a diverse diet really means.


On Tuesday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a Senate bill that requires a vegan option on the menu at hospitals, health facilities such as nursing homes, and state prisons. The legislation, which was introduced by Democratic Senator Nancy Skinner of Berkeley in February, and passed the state senate with unanimous support in May, expands the definition of “healthy” food in the state’s health and penal codes specifically to include plant-based meals.

For advocates of veganism, it’s a major win.

“We were freaks for so many years,” says Judie Mancuso, founder of Social Compassion in Legislation, a lobbying group that focuses on animal welfare and sponsored the bill. “Now, it’s in the state legislature, it’s in peoples’ households. They [lawmakers] have a daughter, they have a niece, they have somebody who is doing plant-based because of something they know, whether it’s for health, or ethical reasons.”

Californians have promoted vegan eating for a century, but only recently have government institutions been getting in on the action.

Read the full article on rights for vegan eaters by Sam Bloch at The New Food Economy