Animal rights organisation PETA has launched a new campaign to encourage the UK government to remove meat from school menus.
Sir Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday organisation is backing PETA’s new campaign to update the ‘outdated’ School Food Standards for England.
The campaign is calling on the government, which is currently reviewing the School Food Standards, to remove mandatory servings of meat and dairy from school menus to allow schools to meet children’s nutritional requirements in whichever way they choose.
PETA’s campaign also being supported by MPs, and health, animal protection groups, and environmental organisations such as the Royal Society for Public Health and Greenpeace UK, who signed a campaign letter to Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson.
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According to PETA, the letter states that “the current animal-derived food mandates limit schools’ capacity to serve children climate-friendly vegan foods and are out of step with the government’s own nutritional advice to the public – the Eatwell Guide – which allows for nutritional needs to be met without meat and dairy”.
PETA believes that the standards are “so outdated that they don’t even comply with the government’s own nutritional advice to the public – the Eatwell Guide – which recommends that people eat more pulses and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.”
They have also questioned why schools still being forced to serve animal-derived foods “At a time where government’s climate advisers, the United Nations, and scientists worldwide are calling for a reduction in meat and dairy consumption”.
Speaking in support of the campaign, Paul, Mary, and Stella McCartney, Founders, 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 proposal has also been signed by supporters including 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.
The campaign is also supported by Dale Vince OBE, founder of Ecotricity and school meals company Little Green Devils.
Find expert advice on raising happy and healthy vegan children here.