Green MP prompts parliament to introduce Meat Free Monday

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP has asked the parliamentary catering authorities to consider introducing Meat Free Monday to the catering outlets in parliament.

The Meat Free Monday campaign, which is being pursued all around the UK by environmental and other groups, is encouraging local authorities, schools and other public and private bodies to allocate one day a week to providing a totally animal-free menu in order to help tackle the world's environmental and other problems.

Caroline Lucas MP explains in her letter: "Farming and slaughtering animals is now recognized as a significant contributor to today's greatest environmental problems. According to the United Nations, animal farming is responsible for 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector combined. As well as saving carbon, reducing the amount of meat in our diets will also help improve health.

"Parliament could send a powerful message and set a great example by designating one day a week as Meat-Free, and we very much hope that you will be supportive of this initiative."

The letter was co-signed by Lib Dem MP John Leech.

"Opt for quality over quantity," say Greens

A Green Party spokesperson said today: "The central message of the campaign is that one meat-free day a week can make a difference.

"This is not about expecting everyone to become vegetarian or to restrict people's choices, but to spread awareness of the impacts that people's individual and collective choices can make.

"Meat Free Monday is an inventive and useful idea. The Green Party would like to see the UK move towards a situation in which people who choose to eat meat will opt for quality over quantity. A smaller amount of better-quality meat, produced in a sustainable way from animals that are well looked-after, would make for a tastier and healthier diet, better animal welfare and a significant contribution to tackling climate change."

The Green Party spokesperson said that it is not about expecting everyone to become vegetarian or to restrict people's choices, and this is good to hear for all too often those that are avid vegetarians and vegans try to browbeat others to their way of thinking.

But, let's face it. Not so long ago meat was expensive and most people could only afford it every now and then. Today we expect – at least the great majority – to have meat every day. I personally knew someone who would not go without her meat every day. No way. She died of a heart attack. Though the latter probably was more due to her smoking than the meat but...

While I do eat meat and see nothing wrong with doing so I rather have vegetables and ideally from my own garden.

When I was a child meat was still very expensive and it was vegetables and bread most of the time. Meat was something that we had when we got it, either by hunting it, or when we had the money to buy it. So, it was not all that common; maybe once a week.

Remembering that meat was that expensive and is now so comparability cheap that people seem to have at least once a day we really have to ask ourselves how it came about that meat all of a sudden became thus. I at least do and wonder.

© 2010