Talking Points: Should the government enforce a meat-free day each week?

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Ginny WongVynci Law |

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Nemo Yu, 13, Carmel Secondary School

The government absolutely should not do so. It is unjustified to enforce people to have a meat-free day, because people should have the freedom of choice. 

Moreover, enforcing this rule will seriously affect the meat industry, because the demand for meat will decrease, and people in that industry will earn less money. By imposing this rule, the government would be indirectly controlling the market price of meat. I think it is completely wrong for the government to interfere with the free market.

Vynci Law, 11, Island School

I don’t think the government should enforce a meat-free day. Many people’s livelihoods depend on selling meat; if there was a meat-free day every single week, they would lose a lot of money. 

Besides this, many people love eating meat, so it is unreasonable to take this right away fro them. There are many other ways to stay healthy and protect the environment, without resorting to this rule. 

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William Tam Chun-wai, 14, Henrietta Secondary School

I think the government should enforce a meat-free day each week, as this will mean fewer animals  are killed. And people who really love meat can simply try vegetarian versions of meat, as these days they taste almost exactly the same. Most restaurants and supermarkets now sell it, too.

Having a meat-free day would also be good for the environment, as meat production contributes to global warming. So to conclude, I think the government should enforce a meat-free day each week.

Kate Lee, 11, Sacred  Heart Canossian School (Private Section)

I don’t think the government should enforce a meat-free day each week. Although it is healthier to do so, citizens have the right to choose. 

Also, eating meat has benefits, too. If the government enforces a meat-free day, meat sellers will lose business. This is bad for Hong Kong’s economy. 

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Vanessa Chow, 15, Pooi To Middle School

I think the government should enforce the meat-free day. First and foremost, the meat industry produces huge amounts of greenhouse gases. If we all eat just a little bit less meat, the meat industry will shrink, and this will definitely  be good for the environment. I think it would be great if Hong Kong could become a pioneer in environmental protection.  It would improve our global image and set a good example  for other Asian countries.

In addition, swapping meat  for vegetables can improve our health. It can prevent obesity and, by extension, the problems related to obesity like heart disease. If we all became healthier, that would alleviate  the pressure on our public health care system, too. Therefore, by enforcing a meat-free day, we could help the long-term development of Hong Kong.

Chan Yan-pok, 12, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary

I don’t support the idea of the government enforcing a meat-free day each week, because food is a personal choice. Different people also have different needs; for example, teenagers need lots of meat and vegetables because they are growing. I suggest that instead of enforcing this rule, the government simply encourages people to have a balanced diet. That would be more feasible.

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Ivan Tsao, 14, Carmel Secondary School

In my opinion, the government should not enforce a meat-free day each week. People have the freedom to choose what to eat, and the government should not be allowed to interfere.

Moreover, meat contains a large amount of protein which is essential for good health. Eating a certain amount of meat is beneficial to us. Therefore, the government should encourage people to eat less meat instead of enforcing the meat-free day.

Chan Man-hin, 15, Henrietta Secondary School

I think the government should enforce a meat-free day each week because meat is becoming more expensive. If we eat less, the price of meat should go down again. What’s more, eating too much meat is bad for you. Swapping meat for other foods can improve your health.

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Hannah Faith Chak, 17, Po Leung Kuk Wu Chung College

Eating less meat is always good for our health. However, I’d prefer the word “encourage” rather than “enforce”.

Firstly, it would be impossible to enforce this policy; how can you make sure people don’t eat meat on that day? People can simply buy meat a few days before, then eat it at home on the meat-free day.

Secondly, forcing such a rule will upset meat lovers. While it’s great to promote a vegetarian diet, forcing people to do so may cause them to focus only on the fact that their choices are limited.

On the other hand, simply encouraging people to give up meat won’t limit their choice, but may still make them open to trying it, once they know the benefits.

Yoyo Wong, 15, Ma No Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Definitely not! People have the right to choose what to eat every day. Although killing animals is cruel, I don’t think a meat-free day each week is the solution. Many people rely on meat in their diet.

Moreover, it is unfair to those people who sell meat, as it may seriously affect their business and living.

All in all, I don’t think the government has the right to meddle in what we eat as it is our basic human right.

In our next Talking Points, we'll discuss:

Will the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge be of any benefit to Hong Kong?

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to [email protected] by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.