Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Meat free days

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Meat-free days are declared to discourage or prohibit the consumption of meat on certain days of the week. Mondays and Thursdays are the most popular days. There are also movements encouraging people giving up meat on a weekly, monthly, or permanent basis.



Abstention from meat was historically done for religious reasons (e.g. the Friday Fast). In the Methodist Church, during Lent "abstinence from meat one day a week is a universal act of penitence". Anglicans (Episcopalians) and Roman Catholics also traditionally observe Friday as a meat-free day. Historically, Anglican and Catholic countries enforced prohibitions on eating meat on certain days of Lent. In England, for example, "butchers and victuallers were bound by heavy recognizances not to slaughter or sell meat on the weekly 'fish days', Friday and Saturday." In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Wednesdays and Fridays are meat-free days. In the Lutheran Church, Fridays and Saturdays are historically considered meat-free days.

Meat-free days have also been observed due to wartime rationing (e.g. Meatless Tuesdays in Canada and the United States—which also observed Wheatless Wednesdays—during World War I) or in states with failing economies.

In the People's Republic of Poland, meat-free days were encouraged by the government due to market forces. They were aimed at limiting meat consumption, primarily in favour of flour-based foods. The meat-free day was traditionally Friday, Monday or Wednesday.

Ecology and society

Attempts to reintroduce meat-free days are part of a campaign to reduce anthropogenic climate change and improve human health and animal welfare by reducing factory farming and promoting vegetarianism or veganism.

South Africa

  • Cape Town
  • Hong Kong

  • Daily "Meat Free Hong Kong Meetup"
  • Singapore

  • Thursday, coordinated by the Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
  • Taiwan

  • Meat-free Mondays in Taipei
  • Pakistan

    Reportedly, Meatless Tuesdays and Wednesdays were observed in Pakistan, from Benazir Bhotto's era in the 1990 through part of the 21st century.


  • Ghent
  • Hasselt
  • Mechelen
  • Germany

  • Bremen
  • During the federal elections in 2013, the German green party Bündnis '90/Die Grünen campaigned with a so-called “veggie day” in their manifesto, which resulted in public outburst over “paternalism”
  • Norway

  • the Norwegian Armed Forces
  • Switzerland

  • Thursdays, coordinated by Swissveg
  • North America

  • Los Angeles has declared all Mondays "Meatless Mondays," citing actions by the
  • Baltimore public-school system, the Oakland, California Unified School District and school districts in
  • Arlington, Virginia,
  • Oneida, New York and
  • Longmont, Colorado; the cities of
  • San Francisco, Takoma Park and
  • Annapolis, Maryland,
  • Marin County, California and the
  • District of Columbia Council.
  • References

    Meat-free days Wikipedia

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