TH!NK post

This article is archived. Comments are closed.

The Netherlands goes meatless!

Published 10th December 2009 - 9 comments - 2608 views -

I am proud to live in the Netherlands! Last tuesday, the Dutch government has accepted the proposal by the Dutch Green Partij (GroenLinks) that demands a public campaign about the consequences of eating meat, fish and dairy. Tofik Dibi, member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Government is excited about the breakthrough and hopes for the start of a multimedial campaign that will directly trigger people to eat less meat.

netherlands goes veg


"Eating meat and dairy causes 15 to 20 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions.  Just as alarming are the consequences of fish consumption. If we continue like this, all oceans will be empty of fish by 2050! It is an important signal that now, while the Climate Conference in Copenhagen has started, the Netherlands chooses to eat less meat, fish and dairy", says Dibi.

Dibi hopes for a modern campaign that will use different media to reach and catch the attention of both youth and adults. "It should not impose restrictions on people or order them what to do, but instead show how we can succeed in creating a sustainable world together. The sooner, the better."

According to recent statistics (2008) an average Dutch person consumes 41 kilo of dead pig meat, 19 kilo of cow and calf, 18 kilo of chicken and 182 of their eggs. If you combine that with some other kinds of meats, this brings us to 85 kilo of meat per person. In other words, each of us consumes on average the weight of Jean Claude van Damme in meat. all musles from Brussels in one year.


We eat one Jean Claude van Damme a year

Still, of these 85 kg, we only put 39 kilograms in our mouth. The rest consists of bones, inedible parts, bodily animal fluids, intestines, ... which are  partly put in the food we give to our beloved carnivorous pets. Meat is not sustainable at all.  Except the fact that half of weight of the consumed animals ends up as waste, the production of meat uses 8 times more food resources than if we would consume the wheat, soy and vegetables given to the animals directly. Additionally, for the production of one kilo of grains 1000 liters of water are needed, but the production of the same kilo of cow meat demands even 16 times more water!

The Netherlands is not the only country that starts to recognize the consequences of the livestock industry and the importance of changing our food habits. In Belgium, my home country, the campaign 'Thursday, veggieday" has booked impressive successes. In several Belgian cities all public schools offer vegetarian meals on thursdays, the meatfree alternatives in restaurants and shops have increased considerably and more and more people are getting aware of the fact that living as a vegetarian is not a difficult commitment at all, but a conscious choice for healthy, delicious, cruelty free and environmentally friendly food. For more information, have a look at this website:


Based on a source from:


Category: Animal Kingdom, International Action, | Tags:


David Hiss on 10th December 2009:

What amazing news!!! I really hope they’ll do a good job with the campaign…Let’s give em some input smile

Jodi Bush on 10th December 2009:

Cutting down (or cutting out) meat seems one of the simplest ways to make a big difference - better for our health, better for the future of the planet and better for animals.

Adela on 10th December 2009:

Wow! This is something big, an example Netherlands gives to the rest of the world.

I would however be a hypocrite to pledge for cutting out meat while I am eating it (not often but still), but I agree cutting down animal protein is healthier.

Veerle Vrindts on 12th December 2009:

Thanks for your reactions! I am also very excited about it. Let’s now hope that the Dutch and Belgian representatives at COP will spread the mesaage to their international collegues!

@ David: did you hear anything about the impact of meat at COP? Could you maybe initiate a less meat, less heat Youth Action. I would be great to bring a clear, practical message instead of asking for the binding agreement and a 40% reduction all the time. Of course these are the action goals, but we should also tell them ‘how’ we want them to do that. What are the big steps world leaders can take… close coal factories, cut cars, better public transportation network on green energy, investment in alternative energy sources, stop factory farming ... promote a sustainable lifestyle, preferably meatless.

Federico Pistono on 14th December 2009:

Wow, it’s pretty amazing to see a government taking such a bold but right decision, despite the possible repercussion form the population.

I wish I could say the same for my country…

Federico Pistono on 14th December 2009:

Cutting down (or cutting out) meat seems one of the simplest ways to make a big difference - better for our health, better for the future of the planet and better for animals.

Could not agree more. smile

Vladokan on 31st December 2009:

Go on, The Netherlands and the rest of the countries around the world. Let’s live sustainable, to restore the harmonious planet.

Nister on 20th May 2010:

I like to eat meat. And give it to me would be difficult.
Maybe the government will be easier to rescind its decision )))))

Americanlisted on 25th May 2010:

This is really good news! Go Holland!

This article is archived. Comments are closed.