Metro Vancouver’s meat free municipalities

Four areas in the Canadian regional district ditch meat for the day

Vancouver bay aerial view on August 17, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada.

The city that gave us Bryan Adams, Michael Bublé and Carly Rae Jepsen has more to sing about than usual this Meat Free Monday, with news that Vancouver and its surrounding areas have joined MFM’s North American sister campaign.

Municipalities in Metro Vancouver – a regional district of British Columbia – have passed proclamations declaring today a Meatless Monday. That means diners in Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, New Westminster and Port Moody, will be getting a taste of a more ethical, environmentally friendly and nutritious way of eating.

The efforts of the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) were key in encouraging the municipalities to pass the proclamations. The organisation has also been working with several school cafeterias to introduce Meatless Mondays, helping out with menu ideas, awareness raising and encouraging students to alter their food choices.

“The Meatless Monday proclamations from the cities of Vancouver, North Vancouver, New Westminster and Port Moody are a great show of support for the local schools, businesses and individuals who have already embraced Meatless Monday,” said Emily Pickett, VHS’s programme coordinator. “We’re thrilled to see this humane, healthy and sustainable-eating initiative continue grow in Metro Vancouver. We’re extending an open invitation to individuals, the restaurant industry and the community as a whole to join the students and schools already participating in Meatless Monday.”

The move marks a significant step forward for meat- free eating in Vancouver. In 2013, it became the first Canadian city to go meat free – albeit only for a day, June 10 – with residents, restaurants and cafes encouraged to cook and consume greener grub.

Educational establishments taking part include Capilano University, BC Institute of Technology and Killarney Secondary, while restaurants such as Eternal Abundance, The Acorn and Cabrito Tapas will also be proving their meat free mettle by offering a range of delicious veggie and vegan meals.

In New Westminster’s proclamation, explaining the decision to adopt a Meatless Monday, mayor Jonathan Coté wrote: “Overconsumption of meat, dairy and eggs is associated with many major environmental problems, including climate change, worsened human health outcomes and animal welfare concerns.” He added that the municipality was “dedicated to developing food systems that are sustainable and that support community health and wellbeing”.

Meat Free Monday founder Paul McCartney expressed his support for the initiative: “Congratulations to Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, New Westminster and Port Moody for going meat free on Monday 15 May. A great step forward in showing how easy and fun it is to have meat free days and help protect the planet from climate change. Well done. Love Paul and family.”

For more information, visit the VHS website.