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Meat’s Off the Menu

Photo: The Guardian Newspaper

Photo: The Guardian Newspaper

The Belgian town of Ghent has embarked on a radical experiment: it has proclaimed that every Thursday will be meat-free day. The report in today’s Guardian newspaper says that restaurants will guarantee at least one vegetarian dish, with some going fully veggie for the day. Schools will have meat-free dishes as the default option. Hospitals and households are joining in too.

The initiative has been backed by Phillippe van den Bulck, a top Belgian chef who happens to be vegetarian. It has come about partly in response to a growing awareness that meat consumption causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world’s planes, trains, ships, trucks and cars put together.

There was another interesting article on this topic from‘s John Gibbons in an edition of The Irish Times from last December.

I’ve drastically cut back my meat consumption for environmental, financial, animal welfare, and health reasons – in that order. But I don’t want to entirely quit!


  1. My household hasn’t cut out meat, and never will. but now I buy the best meat I can, (organic, free range etc) and make it go further. Portions are weighed and I buy bigger chickens to get more from a roast. This is mainly for animal welfare reasons, I couldn’t give a toss about the planet to be honest.

  2. Good idea. The problem with the perception of veggi food is that it can be mindnumbingly boring…I’ve been veggi for 5 years now, and sometimes it does take a bit of thinking…obv not what you want to do after long day working.

    One day a week is a good way to go though. Fair play to them Ghenteurs.

    Best veggi writer I’ve found is Rose Elliot…she’s really passionate and practical, and her recipes are fab. She’s not preaching or anything in her approach, which I find totally appetising.

  3. Funny that, I’m just back from Belgium and found it very difficult to eat meat at each meal. Most restaurants don’t have veggie food, or even fish on their menu. Meat seems to be dominant there