The board of the city’s school system, San Diego Unified, voted 4 to 1 to ban meat from school cafeterias at the start of the week.
San Diego has the second largest school district in California, behind Los Angeles, where Meat Free Monday has been running in schools since March.
Advocates of the move are hoping that more nutritious food will help curb an alarming rise in obesity in city and country as a whole: statistics suggest that 28 per cent of children in San Diego are obese or overweight.
Putting forward five reasons why MFM should be adopted, Lawrence Hansen, a professor at the UC San Diego medical school, said at a meeting of the school board last week: “Heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes and obesity.”
He added: “I think there is some karma involved. The less cruelty we impose on animals, the healthier we are.”
With children up to the age of 8 eating better in school and learning about the benefits of a less meat-heavy diet, the hope is that the city’s middle and high schools will eventually follow suit.