'Ridiculous, Frustrating': Councillor Furious After Council Introduces Meat-Free Monday
From next week there won't be a morsel of meat served at Moreland City Council events on Mondays and one councillor isn't happy.
As the inner-Melbourne council ticked off catering contracts late on Wednesday, a last-minute decision was made to keep meat off the menu on a Monday.
Greens councillor Dale Martin added the amendment in a bid to prove that council was taking steps to reduce greenhouse gases caused by the meat industry.
It was a move that divided the room, with the vote split down the middle. The yay's claimed victory.
Mayor Natalie Abboud voted for the amendment, explaining that it was important to show leadership on the issue, especially after the council declared a climate emergency.
"We're putting our money where our mouth is," she told 10daily. "We're not trying to prescribe people to give up meat, we all eat meat."
"We heard that the effect of growing meat on the planet did a lot of environmental damage and this is just a small token gesture."
Councillor Oscar Yildiz passionately disagrees, labelling the amendment one of the "most ridiculous" things he has voted on in his time with the council.
"I was disappointed and frustrated," he told 10daily. "To say you can't eat meat because it's causing climate change, it's not a council decision. What has it got to do with council?"
"My daughter is a vegetarian and has been for five years. That's fine, it's her decision," he continued. "But to say 'you can't eat meat because it's our lefty-greeny ideology we want to force on you' isn't right."
Yildiz explains that the council meets for a briefing at 6pm every Monday night. There are normally four food options, two of which are meat.
"It's a buffet-style meal the caterers organise, it's not an a la carte dinner, we don't get silver service, there's no alcohol or anything like that," he said.
So, Yildiz has decided to stage a protest.
On Monday he'll be across the road from 5pm cooking a barbecue for any councillor who wants some meaty goodness before their marathon briefing.
"Everyone is welcome," he said.
Meat-free Monday is gaining traction in households, businesses and universities around the globe.
A victorian vegan MP is even pushing for meat to be banned in the state parliament on Mondays as a "common-sense measure," against climate change, the Herald Sun reports.
Just last week a report by the United Nations body on climate science ruled that by dramatically changing the food we eat as well as the way it is grown and produced, humans can help put a halt to the effects of climate change.
But scientists and officials stopped short of explicitly calling on everyone to become vegan or vegetarian.