Wednesday, 7 August 2013

cantina or meatless mondays

Members of the Green Party coalition of the German parliament are urging workplace canteens (cafeterias or Mensen) offer and promote on one day a week vegetarian fare, in the name of environmental sustainability and health and to introduce those never otherwise habituated to the idea of reducing consumption of animal products.

I am a vegetarian myself—and thank goodness cigarettes and wine don't have any meat, but certainly one others might find objectionable because I love cheese, occasionally eat fish or take milk in my coffee, have a hard-boiled egg with breakfast once and awhile, have no compunction against shoe-leather, and so realise the challenge of imposing one's standards on others and would myself feel imposed upon if I felt I needed to justify my diet to others or was restricted, despite all the benefits that go along with a change for the better. The proposal has become somewhat of a rallying point for opponents, accusing the Green Party of paternalism and indoctrination—perhaps inspiring as much of an outcry as the other current, election-season outrages. Though commonplace here, what I think is even more interesting is that the German workplaces have a venue to raise these issues in the first place. De facto, any sizable office or factory has a professional dining place with dishes that at minimum are restaurant-quality (verging on gourmet at times) at very reasonable prices, sometimes for a stipend for the employees—and any one can utilize these mess halls. Sometimes I have lunch at neighbouring government office and have never been wanting for a healthy selection. That is not something that one finds everywhere.