When New Yorkers chose Eric Adams to be Gotham’s 110th mayor in 2021, the general narrative about the election was that his victory demonstrated the city was ready to move toward the center after the eight calamitous years of Bill de Blasio’s hardcore leftist administration.
Adams had been all over the place politically throughout his career, but one of the things that cheered those who hoped he might try to return the city to the anti-crime and pro-development policies of predecessors Rudy Giuliani (1993-2001) and Michael Bloomberg (2001-2013) was the clear mutual antagonism between Adams and some of New York’s most prominent leftist politicians, such as “squad” ringleader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
After a year and a half of Adams’ rule, it’s obvious that while not as much of a disaster as de Blasio, he’s no Giuliani or Bloomberg. The Big Apple has continued its precipitous decline. He’s doing nothing to halt the rampant crime and homelessness that was illustrated by the death of Jordan Neely and subsequent outrageous prosecution of ex-Marine Daniel Penny.
Yet though it has largely flown under the radar of the national and even the local press, there is one element of AOC’s agenda on which he is not just fully in sync with the radical left but actually way ahead of it. His announcement last month that the city will place caps on the amount of meat and dairy served by city institutions such as schools and prisons is part of a wildly ambitious plan to cut New York’s food-related carbon emissions by 33 percent by 2030.
That’s bad news for kids in school cafeterias or prisoners who might hope for an occasional hamburger or pizza. Yet Adams’ plans go beyond Michelle Obama’s nanny state admonitions to eat all our vegetables.
Even more ominous is that as part of this program, the city will be tracking household food consumption by private citizens as part of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice’s Greenhouse Gas Inventories. This tracking of steak, hamburger, milk, and cheese is, at least for the moment, purely a matter of research. But it isn’t hard to envision how this information could be put to use by a city government that is run by hard-core leftists who live to create more new and onerous regulations for businesses and individuals that might make it harder to purchase such products.
The Green New Deal and Great Reset
He may still not be on good terms with the rock star of the congressional “squad.” But Adams’ plan is more or less exactly what AOC’s “Green New Deal” envisions as part of its blueprint for an America that no longer drives gas-powered cars, flies less, and gives up eating meat and dairy. Indeed, it takes a page straight out of the World Economic Forum’s plans for a “Great Reset” of developed countries in which we’re all eating bugs rather than meat so as to avert the theoretical and ever-changing date on which climate change will destroy the planet.
As it happens, Adams isn’t a regular at the globalist elites’ hangout in Davos, Switzerland, though he has attended the Milken Institute Global Conference, which some have dubbed the American version of that gathering. But he is an enthusiastic and public vegan. He credits his “plant-based diet” for reversing his case of diabetes and wrote a cookbook titled “Healthy At Last,” which recommends recipes for unappetizing meals consisting of “jackfruit and okra gumbo” and “forest bowls with earthy vegetables and turmeric cashew sauce.”
If a change of diet has improved Adams’ life, then good for him. But the problem is that when linked to climate alarmism and the unchecked power of City Hall to make New Yorkers’ lives miserable, his evangelical fervor for us all to join him in eating plants (though, as The New York Times noted, he has been spotted at some of the city’s top eateries consuming fish) has the potential to become coercive.
No Appetite for Bugs
European global warming extremists like Greta Thunberg (who reduced her parents to having to eat cheese only by sneaking into the kitchen at night) have long emphasized their desire to change our diets as well as to junk cars and air travel. But American leftists have largely downplayed or altogether shelved any discussion of food when they sermonize about climate catastrophism.
Indeed, when AOC first introduced her “Green New Deal” plan, the reaction to its mention of cows contributing to global warming led to the sort of ridicule that eliminated any talk about changing America’s diet, instead favoring the usual propagandizing about eliminating fossil fuels. Many Americans seem to be at least willing to talk about phasing out gas-powered cars for electric ones, albeit without answering the question as to how all the electricity needed for them can be obtained without burning coal, oil, or gas. But there has never been much appetite here, even among Democratic voters, for giving up meat and dairy and replacing them with plants, let alone bugs, in order to “save” the planet.
For all of their dominance of the media and pop culture, leftists and Davos globalists know this sort of shift in American eating habits is unlikely to be obtained by mere persuasion. But Adams’ vegan zeal could make deep-blue New York the place where government regulations supply the coercion that might bring them closer to their goal.
New Yorkers face rising crime, unsafe subways, prosecutors who are uninterested in jailing criminals, and out-of-control homelessness that has reduced the livability of even Manhattan neighborhoods where middle-class residents have been priced out of housing. They might think a theoretical threat of global warming ought not to be a priority for those running the city. But they’d be wrong about that.
As their press releases and approving coverage in the Times make clear, the leftist bureaucracy at City Hall is enthusiastically looking forward to placing more “caps” on meat and dairy at any institution they control. And, as we saw during the height of coronavirus lockdowns, they are willing and able to use their power to dictate private conduct in order to counter anything they deem an emergency.
The data collection about food consumption isn’t just a way for researchers to measure habits. It is the first step toward the implementation of a global warming agenda that will seek to cripple the meat and dairy industries. Americans, including Democrats, who scoffed when AOC’s “Green New Deal” mentioned food alongside fossil fuels on the list of environmental extremists’ targets should wake up and realize that New York might be the place where vegan totalitarianism can become a reality.