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City declares Veggie Day!
Posted 14 May 2009
The Belgian city of Ghent has declared every Thursday a meat-free day, including no fish or shellfish for which the city is renowned. The city is the first in Europe - and probably the world - to embark on such an initiative. The Labour party councillor championing the scheme, said 'there's nothing compulsory. We just want to be a city that promotes sustainable and healthy living'.
Every restaurant in the city is to guarantee a vegetarian dish on the menu, with some going fully vegetarian every Thursday. From September, the city's schools are to make a meat-free meal the "default" option on Thursdays and at least one hospital wants to join in.
This bold enterprise has attracted the attention of other towns in Belgium and the Netherlands, and there has even been an inquiry from a town in Canada. Animal Aid hopes that British cities will soon follow suit.
The basic premise behind the initiative is to reduce the amount of meat being consumed in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of the city and to boost the health of its inhabitants. A recent UN report stated that animal farming is responsible for more global greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transport sector combined. It also uses up vast quantities of land, energy and water, clearly making meat an unsustainable product. Consuming large quantities of meat and other animal products has also been linked to a number of life-threatening illnesses, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and some cancers.
But we don't have to wait for British towns and cities to announce veggie days. Why not declare your own veggie day and order Animal Aid’s new Meat-Free! Feed four for under a fiver booklet to get you started.