Veggie Dharma: go 40 days without meat

Today, almost 80,000 people in Flanders (Belgium) will once again kick off the annual challenge to maintain 40-day Days Without Meat (DZV – Dagen Zonder Vlees).

This secular initiative invites people to maintain a vegetarian or vegan diet for the 40 days of lent.  The yearly campaign started in Flanders in 2011 and wants to make as many people as possible aware of the benefits of eating less or no meat. It’s not about pushing a strict vegetarian agenda, but rather about thinking about – and seeing the impact of – our  eating habits on sentient beings and the environment.

Here are some things you could do if you’re not used to be vegetarian or vegan: 

  • Learn new recipes

There are plenty of interesting websites, such as Pinterest, the Vegetarian Society, or Green Kitchen Stories, where you can try out new meals. Remember: learning how to cook vegetarian is learning a whole new skill set. Many people who are not used to cook vegetarian (yet), try to cook the way they always have by just replacing the meat. You’ll find that this is often very unsatisfying. It’s better to rethink your plate entirely and perhaps push your comfort zone, focusing on learning meals from cuisines that are more traditionally vegetarian, such as standard dishes from Indian and South-East Asian countries. You’ll eat fresher and discover how to use new herbs and spices.

  • Share your favourite recipe(s) with others

Exploring the world of vegetarian/vegan cooking can be exhausting at the start. No better way to fuel people’s enthusiasm, than sharing a recipe that made you happy. You can post it on our Facebook page under the heading of ’40 days without meat’, or why not post it on your own page, twitter it, mail it to friends …

  • Try out a vegetarian option when you go to a restaurant, or why not go to a vegetarian or vegan restaurant altogether? 

A meat diet is generally considered twice as expensive as a vegetarian one. So by eating less meat, you’ll probably have more cash to go out in town and enjoy some local vegetarian menus/restaurants you might have ignored in the past …

For a Buddhist point of view, have a look at our website, or watch this short video by Matthieu Ricard:

The Veggie Dharma network aims to contribute in a positive way to the view that keeping a vegetarian or vegan diet is part of Buddhist teachings, while keeping in mind that becoming a vegetarian or vegan can be a gradual path. On the other hand… it just takes one second to decide to change your life.


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