Vegetarians launch meat-free week in drive to extol benefits of ‘flexitarian’ diet

Hundreds to participate in challenge to go one week meat-free

From Monday 22 October up until 28 October, hundreds of individuals will take the challenge to go one week meat-free, as part of the Malta Meat Free Week challenge organised by vegetarian promoters VeggyMalta.com. 

This is the first time a meat-free campaign has taken place in Malta with the theme of “one week zero meat”. 

“The initiative is targeted at increasing the growing community of vegans, vegetarians and also flexitarians, people who consume very little meat, in Malta,” said organiser Darryl Grima. 

“The challenge is not trying to get people to quit meat forever but to increase awareness of how easy it is to reduce and remove meat products from your life. To eat tasty healthy food.” 

Grima said those taking up the challenge will discover the health benefits of sparing on meat, especially over concerns on the usage of antibiotics and hormones in animal feed. 

He said animal welfare and environmentalism was another reason to discover vegetarianism. “Over 50 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans, and this figure does not include fish. Livestock farming contributes 18% of human produced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This is more than all emissions from ships, planes, trucks, cars and all other transport put together. 

“And finally, there is world hunger. If all the grain were fed to humans instead of animals, it would feed an extra 3.5 billion people. More than enough to feed the 800 million people who do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life.” 

Grima said the Malta Free Week was unique in that it brings together individuals taking the challenge, importers and retailers and restaurants in one common aim. 

“Abroad meat-free challenges are primarily aimed at the participants. We wanted to involve retailers and restaurants to make it easy for people to try going one week zero meat.” 

Over 130 shops and online shops across Malta and Gozo have chosen to support the initiative and will be offering products at discounted prices some. A number of restaurants too are participating and making additional meat free offers for their clients for the week. 

Personalities taking up the challenge include TV host Moira Delia, radio personalities Daniel and Ylenia, national tennis player Elaine Genovese, and other social media personalities. 

Those who want to join the challenge can do so by going on www.maltameatfreeweek.com and join online to try their luck at winning €200 worth of products by Valsoia.

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