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Belgian city goes veggie for a day

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ghent2.jpgIf you're a veggie who's ever attempted to order a meal in Belgium, this piece of news may just shock you: the entire city of Ghent in Belgium has declared Thursday Vegetarian Day (or Veggiedag), when civil servants and elected councillors will go for meat and fish-free meals. From September this new initiative will be hitting schools too, which will change their default meal to a vegetarian one.

Ghent city officials consider meat a serious source of pollution; a UN report shows that livestock is responsible for nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse emissions. The Ethical Vegetarian Association says, "If everyone in Flanders (one of the three regions of Belgium) 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."

Yesterday, the city threw a vegetarian party in anticipation of the scheme, where the city council gave out recipes and provided demonstrations on how to cook a green meal. Every restaurant in the city will be guaranteeing a vegetarian dish on the menu, with some going fully vegetarian every Donderdag (that's Thursday in Dutch).

[Stephanie Powell]

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