Ghent Goes Veggie on Thursdays

veggie thursday photo

Image from eva

Ghent, a charming mediaeval town in Belgium is going vegetarian every Thursday, starting today. That's right: "Donderdag--Veggie Dag" means that every restaurant has to have a vegetarian dish on the menu, schools will have to make a meat-free meal once a week and even the local shish-ke-bab stand is serving a broadbean felafel instead.

The city council has introduced it, in an effort to cut obesity and greenhouse gases. As one councillor said: "it's good for the climate, your health and your taste buds. There is nothing compulsory, we just want to promote healthy eating."

bear ghent photo

Images from donderdag

City council teamed up with the Flanders' Ethical Vegetarian Association to introduce this experiment. According to the United Nations' data, meat production and consumption are responsible for 18 % of global greenhouse gas emissions--more than cars. The Vegetarian Association says: "if everyone in Flanders does not eat meat one day a week, we will save as much CO2 in a year as taking half a million cars off the road." All civil servants and politicians are committed to no-meat Thursdays but everyone is invited to join the fun and abstinence.

It's going to be a great party today: locals will be invited to sign a declaration that they will eat no meat or fish on Thursdays and will receive a bag of goodies in return. There will be free veggie lunch snacks, vegetarian cooking demonstrations, and recipe booklets are being handed out. Fairtrade wine will be served and a huge vegetable market will be held. Around 90,000 "veggie street maps" are being distributed to help people find the city's vegetarian eateries.

Apparently Ghent has more vegetarian restaurants per capita than London, Paris or Berlin. Donderdag Veggiedag Via :: The Guardian

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