Set amid the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina, is known for its vegan-friendly fare, killer craft beer, and progressive attitude. Now, the citys commitment to veggie eats is official €” Mayor Esther Manheimer has signed a proclamation naming May 9 €“ 15 Vegan Awareness Week.

The document references lots of juicy info about why veganism is a smart choice, including the following:

  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics finds well-planned vegan diets appropriate for all stages of life.
  • The largest longitudinal diet study of vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores concluded that vegans live longer lives with lower incidences of heart, disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
  • Plant-based diets can help reduce global warming.
  • Ashevillians have access to lots of vegan food options.

Other cities have signed similar proclamations, including Eugene, Ore., and Portland, Ore.

The idea for the proclamation was initiated by Joe Walsh, President Emeritus of the Asheville Vegan Society. The original draft included language about compassion for animals, though the city chose to leave that out of the final version.

€œWith Asheville being populated with such thoughtful and open minded folks, I believe that many people who arent yet vegan will choose to move in that direction when presented with fact-based information,€ Walsh tells Latest Vegan News. €œThe Vegan Awareness Week Proclamation signed by Mayor Manheimer makes a strong case for plant-based eating! Though I would definitely add that compassion for animals is the number one reason that many choose to live a vegan lifestyle.€

Ashevilles week will include lots of vegan-focused events throughout the city, all leading up to Asheville VegFest on May 15th, an all-vegan festival hosted by the Asheville Vegan Society.