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The UK Government Responds Again

"Meat must be served on three or more days each week"

I recently signed a petition asking the government to ensure that all UK schools provided a vegan meal option, everyday, allowing children to eat in a healthy way that aligns with their beliefs and choices. Everyday there are vegan kids, across the country, that get to choose between a plain baked potato or a baked potato with beans. This leaves many children being left with the "option" of packed lunch. No hot meal, just whatever they can pack in a lunchbox and leave in the classroom for hours without going bad.

uk, government, politics, london
"schools may provide a meal with a vegan source of protein every day if they choose to"

The Government Writes Back

In response to the petition the government sent an email. This is the email that I received:

Head teachers and governors set their schools’ food policies. We expect them to act reasonably and to work with parents to provide choices that meet dietary and cultural needs, including veganism.
The government recognises the importance of plant-based foods from a cultural and environmental point of view. The standards for school food are set out in The Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014 (‘the School Food Standards’), and already allow schools the freedom to provide plant-based meals as needed. Meat must be served on three or more days each week and beyond this, schools may provide a meal with a vegan source of protein every day if they choose to. The government believe that headteachers, governors and their caterers are best placed to make decisions about their school food policies, in consultation with parents. The School Food Standards have been designed to allow schools the flexibility to do this. We expect schools to act reasonably, providing choices that take account of cultural, religious and special dietary needs, including veganism, and to work with parents in making appropriate arrangements. In doing so, we expect schools to accommodate pupils with particular requirements, to reflect dietary and cultural needs. Schools should consult with parents when making changes to school food provision and ensure parents have access to information on the food provided. If any pupil or parent requested that a school offer a vegan option, and if the school refused to comply, it would be open to the parent or pupil to take it up with the school and consider using the school’s complaints policy. If they were not satisfied following that process, they can raise a complaint with the department. The department would consider any such complaints on a case-by-case basis. This government wants pupils to be healthy and well nourished. We encourage a healthy balanced diet and healthy life choices through school funding, legislation and guidance. The School Food Standards are there to ensure that schools provide pupils with healthy food and drink options, and to make sure that they get the energy and nutrition they need across the school day. The government sets out required minimum standards for school food in the School Food Standards to ensure that children are served healthy, nutritious meals at school. The Standards do not specify food requirements in terms of cultural and religious needs. The relevant regulations are available at: Compliance with the School Food Standards is mandatory for all maintained schools and academies (including free schools). Information and guidance on the School Food Standards is available from at: Department for Education

The Bottom Line

They're not going to do anything. There is so much money going to the government from animal agriculture that they are not willing to even consider addressing the issues of cruelty, exploitation, health problems caused by eating animal products or even the effect on the environment. But, then of course, they like eating meat, they enjoy their fried egg and bacon sandwiches. All the time someone else is paid to do the dirty work they can sit comfortably and clear their plate.

Apparently, The Petitions Committee will take a look at the petition and its responses. They can (but won't) press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate. I expect that they will do nothing, this will fade from their minds and the suffering will continue.


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