President Alberto Fernández has said he give up meat, at least on Mondays – but only if Paul McCartney offers him a private concert in the Casa Rosada.
The Peronist leader delivered his remarks during a meeting with the Argentine Vegan Union (UVA). According to those present, when asked if he would give up meat on Mondays, Fernández responded with a joke, declaring that "if Paul McCartney plays Blackbird in my office, I’ll stop eating meat."
UVA president Manuel Martí organised a meeting with the president to deliver the news that 500,000 people had signed up to a petition opposing the construction of various pig factory farms across Argentina.
Disclosing details of the encounter during an interview with Radio La Patriada, Martí said: “We asked him [Alberto Fernández] about the possibility of creating state policies to do with a healthy plant-based food programme. We were talking about implementing 'Meat Free Monday' [a global campaign to raise awareness of veganism] in the country’s public offices and he told us if we brought Paul McCartney to him and he sang 'Blackbird,' he would go vegan.”
According to the activist, Fernández made the comment in “a moment of relaxation,” though he said the president was attentive to the group’s suggestions.
“The president received the signatures without adopting a position and listened carefully to everything we told him about the impact of meat consumption on climate change... he was very concerned about that [particular] issue," added Martí.
Since late last year, the UVA has been campaigning to get lawmakers in Congress to sign up schools and public offices up to the international movement known as 'Meat Free Mondays,' (or Lunes Sin Carne in Argentina(.
The movement, which aims to slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve public health, is led by ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and his family.
Martí said he had already sent the request to the legendary songwriter.
“I began putting the Paul McCartney request into motion and at some point he’s going to send a letter to the president asking him to implement no-meat Mondays, as they have done in other countries,” he revealed.
The UVA president is keen for Argentina to sign up to Meat-Free Mondays and offered the example of São Paulo in Brazil, as a region where schools serve vegan food to pupils on the first day of the schoolweek.
“I hope Paul has the power to make him understand the necessity and importance of this,” said Martí.