California State Capitol Goes Meatless Monday — Q&A with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon

February 18th, 2019

To celebrate President’s Day, Meatless Monday is thrilled to share a recent interview with Speaker Anthony Rendon, who represents the 63rd Assembly District in the California State Assembly.

California’s state capital, Sacramento, is known for its Farm to Fork Festival and its support of sustainable food policy, including a Meatless Monday resolution passed in 2016.

Keeping with this tradition, the capitol cafeterias — managed by Statehouse Restaurant — recently launched Meatless Monday for the employees of the California State Capitol.

If you’re like Anthony Rendon and interested in bringing Meatless Monday to your community or government office, join the growing list of communities and city leaders who support Meatless Monday as a simple change that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the risk of chronic preventable diseases. See our Community Guide with simple steps to get it going now.

We asked Speaker Rendon to share his thoughts and enthusiasm for Meatless Monday with us.

Sacramento has a great history of sustainability, including passing a Meatless Monday resolution in 2016 – how has this benefited the community?

The thing I like best about Meatless Monday is that it reminds us to think about what we eat and to make choices that are good for our health and good for our environment. Meat production is extremely costly to our environment. In general, it uses more water and has greater environmental costs, including production of gases that accelerate climate change. I think we can make California a better place for all of its residents if we can give people healthy, tasty, plant-based food options wherever they go. This should include going into communities that have been underserved, like some in my district, and making sure they have access to healthy foods that are also affordable.

Why are you supportive of Meatless Monday in the Capitol? 

There are a lot of things about Meatless Monday that are worth supporting. In a classic essay titled, The Pleasures of Eating, Wendell Berry wrote, “Eating is an agricultural act.” Most of us who have time-consuming jobs buy a lot of our food ready to eat, and forget how it gets to the table. Everything we eat starts out on a farm or ranch somewhere. Meatless Monday is a good way for all of us to be reminded of the work it takes to grow and prepare our meals.

What recommendations do you have for other communities and politicians who want to include Meatless Monday as part of their sustainability strategy?

There are very small things we can all do. For instance, I’ve added a reminder to my calendar, so when I check my schedule on my phone every Monday morning, I’m reminded that it’s Meatless Monday! It helps me plan out my meals for the day.

Are there plans to expand Meatless Monday to other areas of your community and Capitol?

Statehouse Restaurant, the cafeteria located in the Capitol, has rolled out a Meatless Monday menu that they will make available every Monday. Included on that menu are vegan and vegetarian pizzas that I had the opportunity to try – they’re quite delicious!

What’s your favorite meatless meal?  

I love all types of Indian food. I’m lucky to live close to the Little India neighborhood in Artesia, California – the largest Indian-American enclave in Southern California, so my wife and I often find ourselves at restaurants there.


Use Mondays to make positive change that will do a world of good. Meatless Monday is a global movement followed by millions who choose not to eat meat one day a week for their health and the health of the planet.


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