Vegetarian Monday, an initiative, which has already been introduced in other countries around the globe, is coming to Israel and will seek to persuade meat eaters to go veggie once a week and contribute to the fight against global warming.
A report published by the UN details the grave ecological impact of the livestock industry on the air, water sources and soil. The report estimated that meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The authors of the report also said that by having one meat-free day a week, people could help effectively tackle climate change.
About two weeks ago, former Beatle Paul McCartney launched the Vegetarian Monday initiative in Britain and Australia. Sir Paul, a life-long vegetarian, told The Independent: "Many of us feel helpless in the face of environmental challenges, and it can be hard to know how to sort through the advice about what we can do to make a meaningful contribution to a cleaner, more sustainable, healthier world.
"Having one designated meat-free day a week is a meaningful change that everyone can make, that goes to the heart of several important political, environmental and ethical issues all at once."
Jana and Ilan Gur, owners of the Al Hashulchan food magazine, heeded the call and have recently launched a similar campaign in Israel. "Our initiative is part of a global effort to fight the environmental damages associated with meat consumption," explained Jana. "This is a good solution for those who wish to reduce meat consumption, but find it hard to refrain from eating meat altogether."
Ilan added: "We call on restaurants – come up with creative, interesting vegetarian dishes, so that people can easily give up meat. All the restaurants we approached to participate in the campaign enthusiastically accepted.
"On Mondays the restaurants will publish a list of specials based solely on vegetarian dishes made especially for this initiative."
According to Ilan Gur, "We don't preach full vegetarianism, we only ask people to eat less meat… today people lead a vegetarian lifestyle for various reasons, and one of them is the concern for the environment."
Some of the country's finest restaurants have already joined the campaign. As of next week the participating restaurants will offer a wider variety of veggie dishes, and every Monday they will serve a vegetarian special menu, in a bid to have patrons give up meat for a day.