Day of the lentil burghers: Ghent goes veggie - The Guardian:
Ghent embarks on a radical experiment today seeking to make every Thursday a day free of meat and of the fish and shellfish for which the city is renowned. On the eve of what is being touted as an unprecedented exercise the biggest queue in the Flemish university town of 200 000 yesterday was for signatures – to collect a bag of wholefood goodies and sign up for 'Donderdag – Veggie Dag' turning the burghers of Ghent into pioneers in the fight against obesity global warming cruelty to animals and against the myth that meat-free eating amounts to a diet of soggy lettuce a slice of tomato and a foul-tasting bean burger.
And then this from Britain: Support Meat Free Monday – Eat less meat for a better planet:
It's a food campaign to encourage the nation to help slow climate change by reducing their meat consumption by having at least one meat free day a week.
Having a MEAT FREE day every week is a simple way to start making a real difference in the world. The more people who join in, the more difference we can make.
What I find curious about this is the days on which it is suggested that this fast should take place -- Monday and Thursday.
Traditionally, Christians have fasted from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays, and though many no longer observe this fast, some do, and since Belgium was, in the past, a country with a majority Roman Catholic population, why not encourage people to begin that practice again?
Perhaps it is to avoid embarrassment to atheists, who might not want to abstain from meat on Wednesdays or Fridays and thus give the impression that they are Christians. In Albania, when it was officially an atheist country, teachers would interrogate children at school to find what they had or hadn't been eating at home, especially during the Christian fast of Lent and the Muslim fast of Ramadan. They would also ask children if they had been eating lots of eggs during the Easter season. If there was evidence fo feasting or fasting, a visit from the police was sure to follow.
But if fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays would cause embarrassment to atheists, why not encourage people to fast on a day of their choice? Or is the aim to get Christians who are already abstaining from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays to add another day?
I've been to a number of conferences and gatherings where Halaal and Kosher food are provided, but it is rare for find Orthodox Christian fasting food on such occasions. Perhaps if Wednesday or Friday were adopted as the meat-free day it might make such things a little easier.