Once A Week Vegetarian Day- Ghent, Belgium

Ghent is the first city in the world to have an official vegetarian day that will be recognized once per week.  While it is not mandatory, every Thursday citizens of Ghent will be encouraged to go meatless for the day.

What exactly does this mean? It means that every Thursday, school and public building cafeterias will serve vegetarian fare, and restaurants will offer at least one meatless option (with many places offering more).

Additionally, numerous vegetarian street maps are being distributed to guide both tourists and residents to the best vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Ghent.  For a relatively small city, Ghent already has a pretty significant number of completely meat-free restaurants.  Among a city of just 240,000 residents, a population that’s over 12,000 times smaller than the U.S., Ghent contains 13 established vegetarian restaurants.

The official vegetarian Thursdays began in mid-may.  They were initiated by Belgium’s largest vegetarian organization, the EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative).

As posted on their website, the EVA along with Councilman Balthazar (who helped in in officially proclaiming Veggie Days in Ghent) gave four reasons to start eating vegetarian more often:  “It’s healthy, it’s good for our planet (and climate), it’s good for the animals, it’s good for people in the south, and (most of the times) it’s very tasty.”

Wouldn’t it be amazing if this idea were carried to the United States?  I’m always yearning for restaurants to serve more vegetarian options and am ecstatic when I see new meatless meals being offered.  Plus, this is a great way for meat-eaters to start lessening the amount of artery clogging, cholesterol-raising meat in their diets.  Skipping meat just one day a week would not be that difficult.  It would increase overall health and would show people that vegetarian food truly can be delicious!

I’m sure I’ll have to keep dreaming for awhile, but hopefully one day this dream can become true.  For now, I’ll just have to take a trip over to Ghent.

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  • Reply
    Abby
    November 19, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    yup, we could learn a little something from them!! soo cool

  • Reply
    Liz
    November 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    That’s pretty nifty. It seems that the US is a bit behind on the whole health thing (as well as other things). It would be cool if a vegetarian day was instated here though…I would totally partake. (Btw, I am not veggie.)

  • Reply
    eatmovelove
    November 19, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Interesting. Love your writing. How much time do you spend doing your posts? Does it consume alot of your time…I love doing it but wish I could do it as a job somehow…because I’d like to spend all my time…then I worry I’m wasting my time on nothing…blah, sorry crappy day. But, great post 🙂

  • Reply
    lessonstolearn
    November 20, 2009 at 6:54 am

    That is so great! What an impressive initiative!

  • Reply
    Mari
    November 20, 2009 at 11:26 am

    wow I think that is such a great idea! I wish they did something similar out here =)

  • Reply
    Oraphan
    November 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    That’s wonderful!!! It would be nice if they had a vegetarian day in the U.S. or everywhere in the world. BTW, my sister who lives in Thailand eats vegetarian food once a week (she is not vegetarian). I think everyone can do this, don’t have to wait until someone encourages you to do it:)

  • Reply
    hungryforbalance
    November 29, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    I’m happy to hear there’s a vegetarian day! I’m not a vegetarian but there are plenty of days I go without eating meat while still getting an adequate amount of protein. Going meat free (even once in a while) can have a positive impact on the environment and our health, especially if we’re doing without red meat. Thanks for the interesting post!

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