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World Vegetarianism Day (October 1st)

Why do people turn to vegetarianism?

Research by iVOX and EVA vzw has confirmed the trend that more and more Belgians are choosing to eat less meat.

In addition, consumers have clear expectations when it comes to restaurants and producers: 81% of Belgians expect all restaurants to offer a vegetarian option on their menu and 6 in 10 Belgians state that they want to see clear vegetarian labels on packaging.

People have a range of reasons for eating less or no meat.

Vegetarian food can be delicious. And it’s something new: new products, new flavours, new preparation methods, new recipes. From all corners of the globe, in all colours and aromas.

For health:
Belgians don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables and eat too much meat and other animal products. Healthy vegetarian food means reduced levels of animal fats and cholesterol, increased fibre and more fruit and vegetables. Excessive meat consumption increases the risk of heart and vascular diseases, some cancers, obesity and diabetes.

For the environment:
Cattle breeding is responsible for many negative environmental consequences. For example, 18% of global greenhouse gas comes from the cattle breeding sector. That is more than the transport sector and traffic. More and more people are becoming aware of this link and opting to support the environment not only by recycling paper and using public transport, but also by eating less meat.

For the animals:
In Belgium, every year around 285 million animals are killed for food. An average Belgian eats one third of a horse, 5 cows and calves, 7 sheep and goats, 24 rabbits and game, 42 pigs, 43 turkeys and other poultry, 789 fish and 891 chickens in a lifetime. These animals are largely farmed in intensive conditions, with huge meat-related scandals (BSE, swine flu, dioxin, bird flu…) as the consequence.

For other people:
Hunger around the world and the increasing price of food are good reasons for many informed consumers choosing to eat less meat. Much of the global grain and soya production is used for animal food even though it would be more efficient to use the crops directly for human consumption.

To further promote ‘Veggie Day Thursday’, we entered into a cooperative partnership in 2013 with EVA vzw, a robust organisation which has accumulated expertise and experience in relation to plant-based food over a 15 year period. Thanks to the Veggie Day Thursday campaign, EVA has now become a household name. The aim of the Veggie Day Thursday campaign is to encourage people to make a healthy, sustainable and tasty choice and eat a vegetarian meal one day per week.

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