City of Ghent Goes Veg One Day A Week

EU: City of Ghent Goes Veg One Day A Week To Lose Weight and Save The Planet – Day of the Lentil Burgers: Ian Traynor, Guardian, UK, May 14 2009

Ghent

On the eve of what is being touted as an unprecedented exercise, the biggest queue in the Flemish university town of 200,000 yesterday was for signatures – to collect a bag of wholefood goodies and sign up for “Donderdag – Veggie Dag”, turning the burghers of Ghent into pioneers in the fight against obesity, global warming, cruelty to animals and against the myth that meat-free eating amounts to a diet of soggy lettuce, a slice of tomato, and a foul-tasting bean burger.
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The city council says it is the first town in Europe and probably the western world to try to make the entire place vegetarian for a day every week. Tom Balthazar, the Labour party councillor pushing 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 every Thursday, although parents can insist on meat for their children. At least one hospital wants to join in.

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