Israeli President Holds First-Ever Meatless Independence Day BBQ

Reuven_Rivlin_as_the_president_of_IsraelFor Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, the only schnitzel he’s interested in is made of mushrooms.

The state leader, a longtime vegetarian, hosted the nation’s first-ever meatless presidential BBQ yesterday in honor of  Yom Ha’atzmaut/Independence Day. The occasion marked the 67th anniversary of Israel’s founding.

As Zee News reports: “President Reuven Rivlin hosted celebrations for his first time in office at his official residence in Jerusalem, serving a vegetarian-only buffet, his office said.”

Rivlin reportedly became an ethical vegetarian back in the 1960s. (Obama, are you listening?)

Much like the U.S., barbecues are a national tradition on Independence Day in Israel, and 4,000 people celebrated the holiday with a vegan event courtesy of the non profit organization Vegan-Friendly.

“With the vegan barbecue, it basically started with the fact that on Independence Day, for almost all the vegans in Israel, there’s nothing to do,” Omri Paz director of Vegan-Friendly, told The Jerusalem Post. “Everywhere you go you need to face dead bodies of animals on barbecues.”

The organization is all about showing people that they can enjoy traditional foods without eating animal products. Only 50 percent of the people who purchased advanced tickets to the barbecue said they were vegans, while others were vegetarians and meat-eaters, Paz told the JT. 

Looks like meatless Independence Day BBQs are becoming a tradition in Israel. Let’s hope America follows suit.

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Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief

Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief

A wizard of words, lover of all living things and vegan mac 'n cheese master, Hannah is the Editor-In-Chief and Founder of Her writing has appeared in Live Happy magazine, the Miami New Times,,, and numerous other publications and websites. She's obsessed with vegan pizza and crop tops, and is totally addicted to the outdoors. You can reach Hannah directly at

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