Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

Is this the world's first meat-free festival

Sweden has been showing the world the way forward in terms of music festivals, with Way Out West 2012 in Gothenburg serving up only meat-free meals.

Posted : 20 August 2012

The festival, which took place earlier this month in the country’s second largest city, Gothenburg, attracted almost 30,000 visitors a day.

“The food we consume, both that we eat and the scraps that eventually end up in our waste bins, accounts for about 25 per cent of the average Swede’s climate impact,” said the festival’s organisers, explaining their decision to ban meat products from the three-day event. “Collectively and individually we must do something.”

Artists, audience and staff had no option but to enjoy delicious and nutritious meat-free fare – probably the first time in living memory that music fans will have left a festival feeling better than they arrived.

The organisers hope that those taking part and attending will see it as a “thought-provoking three-day experience that everyone is free to then let change their routines – or not”. Keen to dispel myths about vegetarian food being bland and non-filling, they add that they want to challenge a norm where meat is normal and vegetarian is not.”

“One might think that a few days with only vegetarian food will not make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, that it will have very little impact on global climate change,” said the organisers.

“But it does; we estimate a significant emissions reduction related to the food we serve, which in turn reduces the festival’s overall climate impact. Something is better than nothing. And if we can positively influence a few others among us to reduce meat consumption over the course of a year, then we have truly started to get somewhere.”

As the festival season continues apace in the UK, let’s hope it’s something that event organisers all over the world will consider in future.

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