You’re not dreaming. This is real life. It’s been trending in the national news for the past few days:

Meatless Mondays in NYC Public Schools (and hospitals!!!) is now, officially, a thing!

It’s a huge win for the animal rights movement; the NYC public school system alone serves nearly a million meals per day. This one single initiative will save the lives of millions of animals, improve the health of millions of humans, and drastically reduce our species’ impact on the environment.

Unsurprisingly, angry meat eaters are already blasting NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for taking away (some of) their chicken nuggets. In his opinion piece for Fox News, Todd Starnes makes some salient points. These two pearls of wisdom stand out in particular:

[de Blasio] says the only way to save the planet from an environmental calamity is to force school children to eat twigs and berries.

Todd Starnes

“Meatless Mondays” is a national propaganda campaign that purports to promote healthy and environmentally friendly meal options. Goodbye hot dogs, hello bean curd. Instead of delicious cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizza, the children will have to scarf down roasted chickpea tagine and something called kid-friendly kale salad.

Todd Starnes

Read the rest of the article. It’s great. It’s like the onion, but on foxnews.com.

Despite the flawless logic in Starnes’ remarks, we at Meditation Magazine are excited about this development, as are many of our fellow New Yorkers. And most of the major media outlets seem cautiously optimistic, if not outright supportive of the program.

But the one major thing that all of the media outlets gets wrong, is giving de Blasio all the credit for this historic initiative. In fact, it was a lesser known member of the NYC government who spearheaded the Meatless Mondays campaign: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Eric rose through the ranks of the Brooklyn police department, eventually becoming Captain. He served as a New York State Senator, and eventually became the Borough President of Brooklyn. But during that time, Eric developed symptoms of late-stage diabetes. Doctors told him he would go blind, and lose some of his fingers and toes. When his eyesight started to go, he decided he needed to start making a change, so he googled “how to reverse diabetes.” He found the research on plant-based diets, and immediately took the leap. He switched from eating animals to eating plants, “cold turkey.”

Eric’s symptoms vanished within weeks, and he has been a passionate advocate for plant-based diets ever since. Eric helped his mother reverse her diabetes symptoms by switching to plant based cooking as well.

In the years since, Eric has been discovering the deeper spiritual benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, and living in line with the empathy and compassion he has always felt toward the conscious beings around him.

Meatless Mondays in NYC schools has not arisen as the political maneuver of a “blue” mayor aiming to appease a liberal-leaning voter base. Rather, it has manifested through the intentions of a deeply wise, compassionate and altruistic human being, who is working to make the world a better place. And that, that kind of effective altruism, is a beautiful thing to behold.

We caught up with Eric at the United Way HQ in Manhattan a couple of weeks ago, to talk about meatless mondays, compassion, meditation, and more. Check out the full video by clicking below!