Denmark: Aarhus on the vegan avant-garde?

The municipal government of Denmark's second-largest city Aarhus plans to introduce a vegan menu option in public institutions such as kindergartens and retirement homes. It says the step is aimed at helping to reduce CO2 emissions. Danish media take a critical view of the plan and lament that what people eat has become a political issue.

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Jydske Vestkysten (DK) /

Nutrition is a private matter

Jydske Vestkysten takes a dim view of the Aarhus authorities' initiative:

“Danish institutions should offer healthy and varied food choices with typically Danish elements. If parents don't want their children to take advantage of this service they're free to pack lunch boxes for them. ... Various nutritional habits can lead to health and happiness and we trust parents to make the right decision for their children. And if you're worried about the health of one child in particular, the problem won't be solved by changing the nutrition policy but by asking the social authorities for help.”

Der Nordschleswiger (DK) /

The next best thing to eating?

Der Nordschleswiger recommends more tolerance for different dietary habits:

“What should be the most personal decision in the world - I eat what I want to eat - has become an ideological battleground. And the tone is becoming increasingly virulent. Yet a clear and very positive trend in the direction of lower meat consumption can already be observed. A growing number of people are choosing vegetarian or vegan diets - without declarations of war on the part of a small group whose fanaticism makes life difficult for the vast majority of peaceful vegetarians and vegans. The old saying 'The next best thing to eating food is talking about it' takes on a new and serious meaning here. So let's show more mutual respect and tolerance, please.”