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Barcelona pledges to become “veg-friendly” city

Barcelona representatives aimed to make the Catalan capital a “veg-friendly” city this Tuesday in an unexpected proposal. The proposal launched by the city’s economy commission received support across almost all of the city council parties, and hopes that Barcelona can become a “friend of vegan and vegetarian culture”. With this, the proposal includes plans to support more businesses and individuals looking to benefit from including more “veg-friendly” options. Additionally, the commission’s proposal includes plans to publish a list of stores and restaurants in Barcelona that are helping people who are vegan, vegetarian, or just want to reduce the amount of meat and animal products they consume. To make it a reality, Barcelona will establish a BCN VEGPoint which will serve as a support and networking centre for businesses looking to become more veg-friendly.

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23 March 2016 06:29 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- In an unexpected proposal from Barcelona’s economy commission, representatives voted to make the capital of Catalonia more vegan and vegetarian friendly. The proposal received support across the board, and aims to support more businesses that are providing people “veg-friendly” options while educating individuals on the benefits of making small changes to their diet. While the proposal doesn’t plan to make any mandatory changes, it does aim to promote eating less or no meat at least one day a week, following non-profit campaigns like BCN Veg Friendly and Paul McCartney’s “Meat Free Mondays”. With the initiative and reducing meat consumption in Catalonia, studies show that people can help improve not only their own health, but the health of the environment as well.


To make the proposal a reality, Barcelona will establish a BCN VEGPoint following the non-profit campaign BCN Veg Friendly. The VEGPoint will serve as a support and networking centre for businesses looking to become more veg-friendly. In addition, it will also provide general information on veganism and vegetarianism to individuals looking to learn more about the benefits from changing their diet and lifestyle. Additionally, having the BCN VEGPoint could help tourists looking for vegan and vegetarian find restaurants and businesses in Catalonia more easily during their visit.

Eating less meat could lead to health, environmental, financial benefits

While the proposal may help businesses provide more options to customers, it also looks to help individuals make changes following Paul McCartney’s “Meat Free Mondays” campaign. The mission of the campaign itself is simple. By eating no meat on Mondays or at least one day a week, people can reap multiple benefits both for their own health and for the environment. In his campaign, McCartney explains that eating less meat can reduce the amount of resources we use, slow climate change, and improve our own personal health.

“If you heard that meat production was one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, what would you do? Would you just ignore that fact or would you want to do something and find a solution”, McCartney asked in a video for the campaign.

While eating less meat can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, studies conducted by universities like Oxford University and recommendations from organisations like the World Cancer Research Fund agree that eating less meat can prevent more cases of heart disease, cancer, and strokes. With this pledge, individuals in Barcelona can save money both on health costs and their groceries while maintaining a healthier lifestyle both for themselves and the world we live in.

PP and Ciutadans unsure about proposal

Although most city council parties supported the proposal, Conservative Catalan People’s Party (PP) and Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ abstained their vote. PP’s Javier Mulleras said he had nothing against the idea so long as “other types of food are not penalised”, and dietary changes aren’t mandatory. Despite several studies having shown the benefits of reducing meat consumption, Ciutadans’ Carina Mejías was sceptical of the health benefits of a vegan diet, citing “vitamin deficiencies” as a possible concern, as well as the proposal potentially hurting cattle breeders in Catalonia.

While these are valid concerns, left-wing pro-independence ERC and other groups supporting the proposal defended the benefits of vegan and vegetarian diets. Others added that the practice was more respectful toward animals and the environment and also ties in with Catalonia’s libertarian values as a community while offering more dietary options for both Barcelona locals and visitors in the city.

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  • Different baskets full of vegetables (by ACN)

  • Different baskets full of vegetables (by ACN)