for BBC News (UK) on May 16, 2009
The Belgian city of Ghent is about to become the first in the world to go vegetarian at least once a week.
Starting this week there will be a regular weekly meatless day, in which civil servants and elected councilors will opt for vegetarian meals.
Ghent means to recognize the impact of livestock on the environment.
The UN says livestock is responsible for nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, hence Ghent's declaration of a weekly "veggie day".
Public officials and politicians will be the first to give up meat for a day.
Schoolchildren will follow suit with their own veggieday in September.
It is hoped the move will cut Ghent's environmental footprint and help tackle obesity.
Around 90,000 so-called "veggie street maps" are now being printed to help people find the city's vegetarian eateries.