Vancouver approves first city-wide Meat Free Monday in Canada

The national flag of CanadaVancouver is about to become the first Canadian city to join Meat Free Monday – albeit for only one day.

Mayor Gregor Robertson is to officially proclaim the city meat free on 10 June, following a request from the Vancouver Food Policy Council (VFPC). The proclamation will state that “excessive amounts [of meat] can harm ecosystems”.

Campaigners for the move say it is a great start towards a regular city-sanctioned MFM.

Trish Kelly, co-chair of the VFPC, said: “[It’s] an excellent way to bring attention to the environmental and other benefits of being more careful about our meat consumption.”

At a meeting in February, Vancouver resident Eleanor Boyle, author of High Steaks: Why and How to Eat Less Meat, laid out the science behind the need to cut down on the amount of meat being eaten around the world, explaining the environmental impact of industrial meat production. A discussion about how best to promote most sustainable diets led to the decision to recommend Meatless Monday, the North American version of MFM.

“It’s only a partial endorsement, for a single Meatless Monday,” said Boyle, “but it’s a terrific start, as a public recognition of the environmental, health, and ethical reasons for everyone to cut back on meat and become more discerning consumers of animal products.”

Vancouver, in the province of British Columbia, is the eighth largest city in Canada, with a population of just over 600,000. In 2010 it was ranked fourth in the world in terms of cities with the highest quality of living.

It is hoped that Vancouver’s MFM will be the first of many. A Facebook page has been created for the occasion, so show your support!