Between the 19th and 25th May 2014 it is National Vegetarian Week. National Vegetarian Week is organised by the Vegetarian Society and sponsored by Tesco. The aim of National Vegetarian Week is to raise awareness about the importance of being a vegetarian and challenging people to get involved and cut meat out of their diet for the whole week.

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Vegetarian Society

The Vegetarian Society is an educational charity that has been running since 1847. The charity supports those that may want to become a vegetarian and helps give ideas on what you can eat in a vegetarian diet. Many places such as restaurants and fast food outlets do not offer an extensive range of vegetarian food and many places also believe that vegetarians eat fish as part of their diet, when in fact a true vegetarian will not eat any meat in their diet. Some vegetarians may be unaware that many types of food and drink are made using animal products. For example most sweets and marshmallows contain gelatine which can come from beef and pork therefore this means that sweets are unsuitable for vegetarians to eat. There should be a way that food companies can eliminate using gelatine from these products and maybe using pectin instead, which comes from fruit.

Meat Free Monday

Meat Free Monday and Meatless Monday are campaigns that are running in the UK and America to encourage people to go meat free just for one day a week, on a Monday. The more people that join in on this campaign then the more benefits it will have to the planet. Every Monday we often post a blog with meat free ideas for our readers to use to make having a meat free Monday that bit easier to do. Over the weeks readers can collect a range of ideas that may help them become a vegetarian and cut out meat from their diet.

Vegetarianism

The aim of National Vegetarian Week is to show the importance of being a vegetarian and cutting out meat. National Vegetarian Week should also raise the awareness of the importance of serving vegetarian meals in many pubs, restaurants and fast food outlets. You may of noticed that many places have a very limited vegetarian range, therefore National Vegetarian Week may prompt certain places to add more vegetarian options onto there menu’s.

Over two million land animals are killed each day in the UK for people to eat their meat and the sad part is that much of that meat may be wasted for it going off or for it just simply not being eaten. Previous research has shown that over five thousand chickens alone are thrown away each day as food waste.

Being a vegetarian has many benefits. Firstly it helps the planet and over time, the more people that become a vegetarian, then the amount of animals needing to slaughtered will decrease. Being a vegetarian can also be one of the healthiest diets and can have many health benefits.

Smart Restaurants Contribution

For National Vegetarian Week, the Smart Restaurants team are going to go completely vegetarian for the week, which means that we will cut out meat for each meal everyday. We already support the Meat Free Monday campaign and cut out meat every Monday, so we look forward to having a meat free week. It may even turn a few in the team completely vegetarian if they enjoy eating meat free meals.

Over the week we will also be posting blogs which will have ideas for each meat free day. You can also look at our previous meat free Monday blogs for some meat free meal inspiration. We have already looked at meals such as stuffed vegetables, meat free pizzas and meat free pasta.

Meat free meals can be very tasty and full of flavour. We hope that by reading this you will want to join in with National Vegetarian Week and challenge yourself to a completely meat free week.

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