With support from over 45 Members of Parliament and councillors, environmental and animal protection NGOs, food companies and medical doctors, PETA sent a letter today to the newly appointed Secretary of State for Education Kit Malthouse calling for the removal of mandatory servings of meat – including fish – and dairy from school meals, as recently recommended by the National Food Strategy. It’s the latest action in PETA’s campaign – backed by Meat Free Monday and award-winning teen vegan chef Omari McQueen – to revise the outdated School Food Standards to benefit children’s health, prevent animal suffering, and reduce carbon emissions.
In the letter, PETA points to a recent study that shows a global shift to vegan eating would result in a 68% decrease in carbon emissions. The regulations are incongruous with the government’s own nutritional advice to the public – the Eatwell Guide – which allows for nutritional needs to be met with meat free protein sources such as beans, peas and lentils.
“Reforming school meals will grant students a healthier, greener future and spare sensitive animals a terrifying death,” says PETA Corporate Projects Manager Dr Carys Bennett. “PETA is urging the Department for Education to update the archaic School Food Standards to remove obligatory servings of meat and dairy, foods that have been found to harm the environment and human health.”
Over 3,500 schools take part in Meat Free Monday in the UK, including in local education authorities Trafford and Edinburgh. More and more children and young people are putting the case forward for eco-friendly meat free meals at their schools, including in Walsall and Letchworth. PETA’s letter points out that schools would like to offer more meat free days, but the meat mandate is standing in the way of progress.
The letter is signed by MPs including Caroline Lucas and Dame Diana Johnson DBE, over 40 English councillors, Greenpeace UK, Upfield, Quorn, Linda McCartney Foods, and others.
Read the letter here: