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Cut out meat and fish once a week, say French stars

Hundreds of high-profile French personalities - including Juliette Binoche - have called on the public to cut out fish and meat from their diet for at least one day a week in 2019.

In an open letter published by Le Monde newspaper, 500 high-profile actors, entertainers, directors, professors, writers, artists, and scientific researchers called on individuals to introduce “lundi vert (green Monday)” into their diet, to reduce consumption of meat and fish overall in France.

The letter read: “Today there are many compelling reasons to collectively decrease our consumption of animal flesh in France. We believe that each person can make a significant step in this direction.”

The “lundi vert” idea has been created by researcher Laurent Bègue, social psychologist and director of financial backer, social science research centre La Maison des Sciences de l'Homme-Alpes; and Nicolas Treich, from French agricultural research institute INRA.

The campaign is set to launch officially next week, and will invite people to sign up to the movement on its official website The website asks: “Can you do it or not?”, and asks visitors questions about their usual diet, their personality, and their knowledge of the animal world.

Anyone who signs up will be pledging to eat neither fish nor meat on a Monday at least, and will receive short reminder emails every week in 2019 to “help strengthen their motivation”.

They will also be anonymously joining a scientific study, coordinated by INRA, researchers from French research centre the CNRS, and French universities. Participants can choose to leave the experiment at any time.

The group is hoping that between 50,000 and 500,000 people will sign up.

Researcher Mr Bègue said: “Our ambition is to raise awareness in our country of the need to change our food habits, for reasons that are stacking up: environment, health, and animal ethics.”

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