Stepping up into the ranks of the great meat-free metropoli of the world, Barcelona has declared itself “a friend of vegan and vegetarian culture” – and has pledged to join the MFM campaign.
Inspired by the YouTube appeal made by MFM founder Sir Paul McCartney in advance of the COP21 climate talks in Paris in December, a pro-veggie proposal was put to the local authorities by the Catalan Republican Left party and won the support of the ruling Barcelona en Comu party. Barcelona joins cities such as Bordeaux, Oslo, New York and Vancouver in encouraging citizens to cut down on their meat consumption for the the sake of people and planet.
It will mean businesses in the Spanish city that serve or promote meat free eating getting extra encouragement and backing from the authorities to carry on the good work. Officials have pledged to “support vegan and vegetarian commerce, publish a list of affiliated stores and restaurants, and adhere to Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday campaign”.
In his video, Paul asked: “If you heard that meat production was one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, what would you do? Would you just ignore that fact, or would you want to do something and find a solution?” Spurred into action, the capital of the Catalonia region has shown its determination to be on the side of the doers, and will hopefully encourage other cities and regions in Spain to follow suit. It led by example five years ago in terms of commitment to animal welfare, when it banned bullfights and animal circuses.
While there has yet to be any confirmation of what the city’s commitment to Meat Free Monday will look like, Paul’s video message clearly laid out the aims of the campaign: “We encourage people to not eat meat on Monday or any other day of the week … just one day makes a real difference.” Oslo recently announced it would not be serving meat in its city government offices on a Monday, with the scheme rolled out to municipal canteens and schools at a later date. Meanwhile restaurants in Bordeaux will be encouraged to offer meat free menus on the final Tuesday of every month.