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Meatless Mondays – a movement that was initiated in 2003 by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health – has proven to be highly effective in reaching out to those who are reluctant to let go of meat.

The city council of Aspen, Colo., was the first to pass an official Meatless Monday resolution back in June 2011, and was soon followed by the city councils of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Philadelphia, to name a few.

Internationally, the movement has spread to cities such as São Paulo in Brazil, Tel Aviv in Israel, and Ghent in Belgium.

And now, the army of Norway has got on board too! Troops will be fed a vegetarian diet once a week, in order to reduce the army’s overall meat consumption by 150 tons per year. The new vegetarian regime has already been introduced at one of Norway’s larger army bases, and will soon be rolled out across all units.

Military spokesperson Eystein Kvaring explained to AFP that this decision was not motivated by financial concerns, but rather, “to protect our climate. The idea is to serve food that’s respectful of the environment. It’s about being more concerned for our climate, more ecologically friendly and also healthier.”

The Future in Our Hands, a Norwegian environmental group that campaigns for Meatless Mondays throughout the country, has praised the army’s decision.

The organization estimates that the average Norwegian will consume more than 1,200 animals over the course of their life, including 1,147 chickens, 22 sheep, six cattle and 2.6 deer – and any step that is taken to reduce this number can only be regarded as a good thing. The group’s director, Arild Hermstad, told AFP, “The [defense] ministry deserves a lot of praise because it’s taking climate and environmental issues seriously.”

Want to spread the word about Meatless Mondays, or entice a few diehard omnivore friends or relatives to give it a try? Check out the Meatless Monday website, where a variety of helpful articles, information packs, and resources can be found to assist new diet adopters.

Image Source: xoiram42/Flickr

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