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Vegan Lessons At School

At school, teachers know that they have to take care of the children in their school. They have to keep them safe and protect them from danger. But, few teachers think about how what they and the children eat, the choices that they make, could be putting more children in danger, both today and in the future. Thanks to the work of activists the public are becoming more aware of the impact that animal agriculture has on the environment. That the farming of animals is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire global transport network. Teachers will educate their pupils on recycling, walking instead of using a car, reducing waste, but there won't be any lessons on the environmental impacts of their meal choices.

Push Back

Most parents don't want their children being taught about veganism, the health benefits, the environmental impact, how animal products are produced. Their cognitive dissonance makes them unwilling to face the realities. Animal agriculture uses 77 per cent of the world’s farmland which results in only 18 per cent of the calories that people eat. The vast majority of plants grown are fed to animals to produce meat. Plants, however, use 23 per cent of farmland to supply 82 per cent of the calories that a person will eat. In terms of energy in - energy out plants make more sense as a food source. Plants also contain more nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than meat products.

The British Nutrition Foundation is a charity that gives people, educators and organisations access to reliable, science based, information on nutrition. They run programs for schools that aim to educate children about nutrition and health. Part of the their teaching is around the subject of sustainable eating. On their website you can find 10 facts that they promote for eating in a healthy and sustainable way, these facts include:

  • Eat a more ‘plant-rich’ diet overall

  • Get your 5 A DAY

  • Shift towards more plant-based protein sources

Current lessons taught in schools around food and nutrition teach very little about the impact that food has on our environment, how food choices can lead to deforestation and water pollution. Lessons can include meat, eggs, dairy and processed animals products that are proven to be harmful to health. There is no mention of animal welfare or alternatives to consuming animal products, children are still given free cartons of milk and most school dinners include meat or dairy. The Vegan Society is working with parents and schools to make vegan options available for children. They even have free to download letter templates that can be used to tell your school what it means to be vegan and explain to them why they have to cater for you. There are also letter templates for prisons, hospitals and more.



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