Royals go vegan for religious ‘green’ summit

November 4, 2009


For a man who loves hunting, fishing and shooting, Prince Philip may sound like an unlikely host for a vegan lunch.

But with more than 200 religious leaders representing nearly a dozen of the world’s faiths coming for lunch at Windsor Castle, the Duke of Edinburgh had to be careful what he offered his guests.

Beef, pork and indeed meat of any sort would have been unacceptable for many of those attending the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) event.

And given that his visitors were there for a conference on religion and the environment, the chefs had to be careful that the food was local and sustainable.

The menu started with a salad of roasted English pear, celeriac and cobnuts (a type of hazelnut grown in Kent).

For the main course, guests had mushrooms stuffed with artichoke, red onion and thyme, served on pearl barley and butternut squash risotto.

Instead of fine French wines, there were non-alcoholic cranberry and orange cocktails.

Lunch was served after a morning of speeches introduced by Prince Philip, who founded ARC in 1995 to help religions to develop environmental programmes.

In a speech that cited Dante and T.S. Eliot, the Bishop of London Richard Chartres said humanity was living out a sort of “cosmic drama” in five acts, with the final scenes about to unfold.

“Act 5…is just beginning,” he said. “It will decide whether humanity is just a dead-end in the unfolding story of life.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon‘s message to delegates in the vast Waterloo Chamber, built to mark the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, was just as stark: Mankind has only one home, planet Earth, and action must be taken immediately to save it.

“We may have to have nine more planets if you continue to emit greenhouse gas emissions like you have been doing,” he said.


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Wonderful news! I was today leafleting all the people going into our Welsh Assembly Building on the day of the debate about culling thousands of badgers to protect the dairy industry. Not only was the charming policeman in agreement with me about saving the badgers (he used to be wildlife officer, but I was able to insist to him that if the world went vegan it would go a long way towards eliminating or lessening most of the troubles facing us on this earth – climate change, world starvation, disease, the acceptance of brutality to man and beast, to name enough to cause people and governments to wake up. But will they?!

Posted by june holder | Report as abusive

I welcome the idea to host sustainable events and acceptable to all denominations.
To abandon meat eating will make a big (positive!) impact towards the reduction of climate change.
Congratulations to Prince Philip!

Posted by Yamuna Jansch | Report as abusive

[…] Vegan food is the most inclusive type of food. That’s why the Duke of Edinburgh chose a vegan feast to offer to hundreds of religious leaders when they came t…. […]

Posted by What Does A Menu Say? | Report as abusive