Make this summer a kind one, keep animal products off your home

By John Di Leonardo  

This week, the United States celebrated July 4th, also known as Independence Day.  Despite this day being a celebration of freedom from Great Britain, most Americans celebrate by shooting off fireworks and chowing down on burgers and hot dogs, frightening wildlife and animal companions and consuming animals who never knew the freedom of their own.  

Recently, two landlords in Fort Greene, Brooklyn listed an apartment for sale with a strict “no meat in the building” rule. Social media and even traditional media went ablaze with commentary, with many speculating on if this rule was even legal.  

According to the New York Times 

The city’s Human Rights Law lists 14 characteristics that landlords are not allowed to consider in deciding whether to rent an apartment to someone, including age, race, family status, job, source of income and sexual orientation. Fondness for hamburgers is not one of them. 

Lucas A. Ferrara, an adjunct professor at New York Law School and co-author of the multivolume book Landlord and Tenant Practice in New York agreed.  

Once considered a “treatment” for stress, weight loss, and other common ailments like the flu, we now know that smoking is not only harmful to the smoker but also the environment and any non-smoking individuals that surround them.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): 

In a single year, cigarette smoke contributes thousands of metric tons of cancer-causing chemicals, other toxins, and greenhouse gases globally. In a single year, cigarette smoke contributes thousands of metric tons of cancer-causing chemicals, other toxins, and greenhouse gases globally.  Cigarette butts are the largest single type of litter by count and their filters do not biodegrade.  Additionally, tobacco product packaging creates 2 million tons of waste per year. The environmental and health impacts of tobacco are vast and growing and are particularly harmful to low-and middle-income countries.  

Exposure to smoke and even the significant air pollution that is generated by the manufacture and transportation of tobacco products can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. These effects are further exacerbated by the fact that as of 2012, 4.3 million hectares of land had been cleared for growing tobacco, destroying forests that not only provide habitat for wildlife but also act as the lungs of our planet.  

For these reasons, and many more, younger generations are choosing to smoke less and less, and renters are allowed to prohibit or restrict smoking in their rental properties. With all we know about animal agriculture, which contributes vastly greater to greenhouse gas emissions and also causes an increase in cancer, stroke, diabetes, and so many more ailments, it is my hope that more renters enact a ban on cooking meat and other animal products on their property, encouraging kinder, healthier habits while also being a form of activism.  

For this week’s Anuvrat, I encourage you to set rules or boundaries that will encourage others to explore new recipes or food choices to help the planet and all its beings. Politely ensure that your visitors don’t bring nonvegan items to your party, BBQ, or any other get-together at your home and supply some veggies or Beyond Meat burgers instead. Make this summer a kind one and inspire others to both respects the freedoms of animals and practice Ahimsa by respecting your wishes to keep animal products out of your home. And if you happen to be a landlord, please do incorporate the clause indicated in the New York Times article.

John Di Leonardo is the founding director of Humane Long Island. He was previously the Senior Manager of Grassroots Campaigns and Animals in Entertainment Campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). He has a Master’s degree in Anthrozoology from Canisius College. He also earned a graduate certificate in Jain Studies from the International School of Jain Studies (ISJS) in India. John can be reached at [email protected].

Images courtesy of and Provided

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