Meat free Monday
Picture taken at Olife

I was looking around the Meat Free Monday Web site when I came upon this press release highlighting the results of a survey by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education (教育部):

Approximately 86 per cent of the east Asian island nation’s primary and secondary schools now provide vegetarian options for pupils, according to a survey by the Ministry of Education carried out in October.

Of Taiwan’s 3,517 schools, 2,328 have offered meat-free dishes, with almost 700 doing so once every fortnight or month. Compare this with February, when the last survey was conducted, when only 1,201 schools were found to be offering vegetarian meals.

The country began promoting healthier eating in schools back in 2009, and education ministry officials have now said that all schools should provide one meat-free meal a week in order to promote healthier eating and help reduce global warming.

I’m participating in Meat Free Monday for environmental and health reasons and because I am also trying to switch to a mostly pescetarian diet. One thing that struck me when I first moved to Taipei was how few vegetarian options there are on most restaurant menus (unless you want to eat nothing by side dishes and rice, that is). There are plenty of vegetarian restaurants, but if you want to go to a “regular” restaurant and not consume meat or seafood, you are often stuck with only one option. Has anyone else noticed this? I was surprised because I thought that in country where Buddhism is a majority religion, restaurants would try to attract a vegetarian clientele. Anyway, I’m glad to see that the MOE is making an effort to give kids meat free options.

Please vote for me in the 2010 Taiwan Best Blog Awards! It just takes two clicks… one here, and then another under the plus sign. Thank you!