When thinking about German cuisine, vegetables are not likely the first food that comes to mind. So considering its meat reputation that is laden with a wide range of sausage options, it might come as a surprise to learn that not only is there a thriving veg-friendly movement — more than 10,000 people attended last year’s Berlin VegFest — there is a new vegetarian eating initiative introduced as part of a political platform.
Earlier this month, the German Green Party announced its added a “Veggie Day” component to its party platform, just ahead of large September parliament elections. Veggie Day follows the same idea as the Meatless Monday campaign – leave meat off your place at least one day a week as a way to help protect our health, the environment, and animals.
The Green Party’s election programme states, “Our consumption choices shape the world. This reveals itself, in particular, when it comes to eating meat … high meat consumption not only carries health risks, it requires factory farming that takes no account of man, animals and the environment.”
As proposed, the German Green Party’s Veggie Day, would be implemented in all public cafeterias across the country. Although the idea has received some push back, the concept of eating a meat-free meal one day a week is not new to Germans. In fact, three years ago, the city of Bremen, Germany introduced a “Thursday Veggie Day” campaign, following in the footsteps of Ghent, Belgium which became the first city to adopt Veggie Day in 2009.
Additionally, according to the Vegetarian Federation of Germany, around 10% of the German population is vegetarian — a figure estimated to be the 2nd highest rate of vegetarian eating in a European Union country (following Italy).
Meat-free days are also taking hold in the US. Just last month, Montgomery County, Maryland issued an official Meatless Monday proclamation, and this proclamation was preceded by similar Meatless Monday resolutions passed in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. Could your city be next?
Find out more about our Meatless Monday initiatives — and ask your City or County Council to adopt a resolution!