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Meat-free days are declared to discourage or prohibit the consumption of meat on certain days of the week. Historically, this was generally done for religious reasons (e.g. the Friday Fast), or due to rationing during wartime (e.g. Meatless Tuesdays in World War II Canada and the United States), or in states with failing economies. Today there are attempts to reintroduce meat-free days as part of a campaign to reduce anthropogenic climate change and improve human health and animal welfare by reducing factory farming.
It has been endorsed by the city councils of Ghent, Belgium; Hasselt, Belgium; Mechelen, Belgium; São Paulo, Brazil; Bremen, Germany; and Cape Town, South Africa. The City of Los Angeles has declared all Mondays to be "Meatless Mondays," citing actions by the Baltimore City Public School System, Oakland Unified School District, along with other school districts in Arlington, VA, Oneida, NY and Longmont, CO, as well as the cities of San Francisco, Takoma Park, MD, and Annapolis, MD, Marin County, CA, and the Council of the District of Columbia.
In the People's Republic of Poland, the meat-free day was a custom cultivated by the government because of a deficit in the market. It was targeted at limiting meat consumption, mainly in favour of flour-based foods. The meat-free day was traditionally Monday, or later Wednesday. For older generations non-meat day is Friday.
- "Making Do with Less": Rationing in Canada
- The Way We Ate: The Year Harry Truman Passed on Pumpkin Pie
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