Norwegian army goes meat free

Image of the Norwegian military

In a move to cut its carbon footprint, the Norwegian Armed Forces have announced plans to go meat free one day a week.

New weekly vegetarian menus have already been offered at some of the arny’s larger bases but now they will be introduced to all bases in support of Meat Free Monday, or “Kjøttfri Mandag” as it is known as in Norway. The army claims the initiative will reduce meat consumption by 150 tonnes a year.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the livestock sector is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”. The FAO estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while other organisations have estimated it could be as much as 51 per cent.

Commenting to AFP, Military spokesperson Eystein Kvarving said: “It’s a step to protect our climate. The idea is to serve food that’s respectful of the environment.”

“It’s not about saving money. It’s about being more concerned for our climate, more ecologically friendly and also healthier.”

Norwegian environmental group The Future in Our Hands (FOH) applauded the move, noting that, over the course of a lifetime, a Norweigan adult eats on average more than 1,200 animals, including 1,147 chickens, 22 sheep, 6 cows and 3 deer.

FOH’s director said: “The defence ministry deserves a lot of praise because it’s taking climate and environmental issues seriously.”

For more information about Meat Free Monday in Norway, visit the Kjøttfri Mandag website.