International day without meat

Wed, 20/03/13

20 March 2013 marks the International Day without meat. A day when everyone is encourage to experiment with a diet without meat.  UNOG decided to participate this year as part of it’s environmental policy, in order to raise awareness among all staff of the effects of excess consumption of meat products. Catering outlets of the Palais des Nations and its annexes (including bars, cafeterias and Delegates' Restaurant), will cater protein-based dishes made of vegetables, tofu, dairy products eggs, and fish only.

UNISDR’s Kati Timar, founder of the Climate Friendly Food Lovers group explains more:

The Climate Friendly Food Lovers Group welcomes UNOG’s Meat Free Day. It is a great way to draw attention to the negative effects the production of animal-based foods have on the environment and on our health. In many countries switching to a plant-based diet has reached the mainstream, and entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates are starting to see the value in investing in plant based food technology. Especially in the light of the recent meat scandals, more and more people ditch not only meat but all animal products, because they realize that plant-based diets offer all the nutrition we need, and help prevent illnesses such as heart-disease, cancer and diabetes. People on plant-based diets are healthier, slimmer, and more energetic.

Eating plants is good for the planet too: plant-based diets are associated with a fraction of the pollution or carbon emissions that of meat, diary, eggs or fish. Finally, there are the compassionate reasons: by opting for a plant-based diet, you can save 100 animals annually from a miserable life and a horrible death. Animals, such as pigs, cows and chickens are as intelligent as our pet dogs, cats or horses, and they suffer the same way.

It is important to know, that the production of eggs and diary entail suffering and the death of animals too, and their production is equally destructive to the environment. Fish are highly intelligent, sentient beings too, and the oceans are hardly coping with the effects of over fishing. When eating fish or shrimp, we should not forget about the bycatch: all the fish, dolphins, turtles and other sea animals that are thrown back to the sea dead, because they were not intended to be caught.

The good news is, that plant based options are easily available and can taste as good as animal-based products.  The CFFL would like to achieve that delicious plant-based hot meals would be available to UN staff every day in all cafeterias. So that if one decides to choose a climate friendly and compassionate meal, they should be able to do so without having to make a compromise on the quality of food. Even just by opting for one plant-based meal a day, one can make a significant difference for the environment and for the animals. It is great, that vegan meals are already available on Wednesdays in the UNOG cafeterias – we are hoping that this will be extended to each day of the week. Personally, I very much look forward to see what will be on offer in the vegan menu on the The International Day without Meat.

The Climate Friendly Food Lovers will be in the Palais cafeteria on the The International Day without Meat from 12 am to 1 pm, distributing flyers and answering any questions you may have.”

Find out more about the Climate Friendly Food Lovers at



Categories: Staff Engagement