Last week it was The National Week Without Meat, which was an initiative of Isabel Boerdam, founder of ‘De Hippe Vegetariër’ meaning ‘The Hip Vegetarian’. In the eyes of Isabel, eating meat or fish every single day is not sustainable in our modern world anymore, and therefore with this initiative she tried to promote an eating pattern where meat and fish are alternated by vegetarian dishes.
Personally, I am someone who definitely thinks meat and fish are tasty. I do not consume it every day, but still quite a lot. So together with my roommates, we decided to participate in Isabel’s initiative and to become vegetarian for the week. In the rest of this blog you can read about how I experienced this vegetarian lifestyle, what my favourite vegetarian recipes where and why this initiative has such a positive influence on our planet.
What surprised me is how easily and fast this week passed by, without me actually missing eating meat or fish. So I asked myself: why haven’t I noticed this before? Well probably because I never specifically looked at vegetarian recipes before. But, last week I had to, and I found out that your meal can be just as tasty vegetarian style. Something else I struggled with was inspiration, which I am sure lots of other students struggle with as well. Therefore I visited the website of ‘week zonder vlees’
and immediately got way more excited for the tasty vegetarian week ahead of me. Some of my favourite dishes where lasagne with goat cheese and pumpkin, noodles with vegetarian chicken or tofu and basically any vegetarian pasta! So, if you lack inspiration yourself, I definitely advise you to visit this link, or to browse through other online blogs or websites! You could even follow our local Erasmus Sustainability Hub and the Erasmus FoodLab’s cooking workshops.
Now that a lack of inspiration cannot be used as an excuse not to try a week without meat, we can ask ourselves: Why is it so beneficial to our planet to cut down our meat consumption? Well, the first and most obvious reason is that less animals are killed when less meat and fish is consumed. But there are also other beneficial factors that are less obvious. By skipping meat for only one week, for example, your water consumption decreases with 130 litres per individual. Moreover, 13.3 kg less CO2, or so to say greenhouse gasses are released into the air, which is the same amount as driving around 76 kilometres with a regular car.
Enough reasons to at least give this no meat week a try if you ask me. Personally, I have not decided to stop consuming meat completely at once but to cut it down to only eating meat or fish around two or three times a week! But even if you decide to decrease your regular meat consumption with only one day a week, you are already making a difference to our planet!