MK Lipman and activist Haimovich hope to bring Meatless Monday to Knesset

Initiative that began in the US meant to reduce meat consumption by 15% may start at Israel's legislature soon.

By
September 29, 2013 16:45
2 minute read.
Dov Lipman and Miki Haimovich

Dov Lipman and Haimovich370. (photo credit: Benji Goldberg)

 
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This week’s upcoming Torah portion says, “every moving thing that lives shall be food for you,” but at least one rabbi is looking to limit meat intake.

Meatless Mondays may be on their way to the Knesset, thanks to MK Rabbi Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) and health activist Miki Haimovich.

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Lipman and Haimovich, who resigned from her post as a Channel 10 News anchorwoman in June 2011 and advocates healthy eating, decided to establish a Knesset Meatless Mondays Caucus this weekend.

Meatless Mondays is an initiative that began in the US, meant to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent to improve personal health and the environment.

“I decided to form the Meatless Mondays Caucus with a look at the long-term, and an understanding that we must act to protect the environment,” Lipman said. “One day without meat doesn’t sound like a lot, but together we can make a big, significant change.”

Lipman explained that “Earth’s resources are limited, and we must protect them for future generations.”

According to a Knesset Research and Information Center document, Israel is 12th place in national consumption of meat, with a yearly average of 18 kg. per person.

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The document added that the UN estimated in 2006 that the meat industry is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse- gas emissions caused by human activity. This has a significant effect on Israel’s carbon footprint, the Research and Information Center wrote.

Haimovich expressed hope that cutting meat out of the Knesset cafeterias’ menu for one day a week will help raise awareness of the issue.

“Meatless Mondays is a way to raise discussions on the different aspects of sustainable food, and to promote a healthier lifestyle,” Haimovich stated.

Lipman hopes to recruit MKs from every faction to the caucus.

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), who is a vegan, requested earlier this year that the Knesset add vegan options to the Knesset cafeterias’ menus and provide soy milk.

Now, she says, Knesset directorgeneral Ronen Plot told her that the next tender for a catering service will require both.

“I’m in favor of Meatless Mondays and think that there should be non-meat options every day,” Zandberg stated.

Animal rights group Anonymous for Animal Rights said that “since the meat industry is one of the central causes of the environmental crisis, decreasing meat intake is a simple and effective way for every one of us to contribute to the global battle against climate change.”

The organization added that if less meat is eaten, fewer animals will be imprisoned under harsh conditions in factory farms.

“A ‘vegetarian day’ every week is an opportunity to have a more varied diet, eat more fruits, vegetables, beans and grains, and improve our health,” Anonymous for Animal Rights added. “The UN and government agencies in Sweden, the UK, Germany and Australia already officially recommended reducing meat consumption for health and environmental reasons. We commend MK Lipman on his initiative, and hope that the Knesset cafeterias will join this important project.”

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