‘As the world faces dual health and climate crises, going vegan is one of the best things young people can do for animals, the planet, and their own health’
PETA along with Greenpeace UK, and Meat Free Monday have written a letter urging the secretary of state for education to review school meal guidelines in England and replace the mandatory servings of fish, meat, and dairy with more flexible nutritional options.
Others backing the proposal include Veganuary, Viva!, Quorn Foods, Compassion in World Farming, Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, Humane Society International UK, Animal Aid, ProVeg UK, Caroline Lucas MP, and Henry Smith MP.
According to the letter, the guidelines are “so outdated that they don’t even comply with the government’s own nutritional advice to the public – the Eatwell Guide – which recommends that people eat more pulses and reduce their consumption of red and processed meats.”
Calling the School Food Standards “unnecessarily restrictive” and “out of step with the Eatwell Guide,” the letter states that “as long as nutritional needs are met, individual school caterers should have the freedom to decide whether they wish to include meat and dairy in their menus.”
The letter cited the British Medical Association report, which estimates that 20% of UK children are obese by the time they turn 6 and serving them cholesterol and saturated fat rich foods such as meat, fish, and dairy only increases their likelihood of suffering from cancer, diabetes, and heart disease later in life.
‘Promote healthy eating’
In a statement, the McCartneys, founders of Meat free Monday said: “No one needs to eat meat, so it shouldn’t be mandatory to serve it in schools. It’s time to revise the School Food Standards to help the planet, spare animals, and promote healthy eating.”
The letter also referenced a 2019 poll by Linda McCartney Foods that revealed that 70% of British children want more vegan meals on their school menus.
“As the world faces dual health and climate crises, going vegan is one of the best things young people can do for animals, the planet, and their own health,” PETA said.
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