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Inside America's first all-vegan school watch

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    Fascinating article on the Guardian about a school that switched its meals to be entirely vegan, in order to make it more sustainable.

    Head teacher of MUSE school Jeff King says: “We teach our students how much more land and water are needed to produce a pound of beef versus grain, and we couldn’t truly call ourselves sustainable without eating this way.”

    The school, which sources almost half its produce from its own gardens, announced plans to move to entirely plant-based lunches and snacks – a programme it calls One Meal a Day for the Planet – over two years.

    “It wasn’t easy,” King says. “There was a lot of fear, especially with parents of younger children, around brain development and how it relates to meat consumption. Our census took a hit: in the first year we lost a lot of families because of this.”

    Full story on The Guardian

    What do you think of this? Is it a positive move towards sustainability, or a step too far?
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    What I took from the article most was how ignorant so many parents are. I mean, serious ignorance. In a country where childhood obesity rates are at epidemic levels, a school takes a step toward healthier meals and "A whopping 40% of the students were withdrawn by concerned parents"!

    Astounding. What are those parents so worried about? That their children may actually eat some fruit and veg? Even if they believe that meat and/or dairy is necessary for their child (which would be wrong but at least on the scale of fairly normal in terms of wrongness), school only provides five meals a week. What's the big issue?
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    Seems like a good idea to me, at least this way one of their meals will have lower impact. If parents do have an issue with the supposed effects on brain development they can feed them animal based products for their evening meal. There is no way that animal based products have to play a role in every meal eaten and if they are still eating them on a daily basis they should have any essential components the parents feel they may be missing.

    It is a good way to educate kids in the effect our food has on the environment, while teaching them that vegan food does not have to be bland and boring, not so they convert but so they can introduce it every now and again.
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    (Original post by e aí rapaz)
    What I took from the article most was how ignorant so many parents are. I mean, serious ignorance. In a country where childhood obesity rates are at epidemic levels, a school takes a step toward healthier meals and "A whopping 40% of the students were withdrawn by concerned parents"!

    Astounding. What are those parents so worried about? That their children may actually eat some fruit and veg? Even if they believe that meat and/or dairy is necessary for their child (which would be wrong but at least on the scale of fairly normal in terms of wrongness), school only provides five meals a week. What's the big issue?
    Would be funny if the school sore a rise in average grades, might say something about the parents who choose to remove their kids, might also say something about the benefits of a vegan diet. (I'm actually genuinely interested, for all I know it could be that grade averages actually lowers)
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    Meat is part of a healthy and balanced diet, this is not healthy this is like carrying or an experiment on children.


    Americans should learn not to get so fanatical in their ideas, if I lived in America I would never pledge allegiance to their stupid flag.
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    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
    Meat is part of a healthy and balanced diet, this is not healthy this is like carrying or an experiment on children.


    Americans should learn not to get so fanatical in their ideas, if I lived in America I would never pledge allegiance to their stupid flag.
    Meat can be part of a healthy and balanced diet, but the quantity that it is consumed on average in the US is not healthy and very environmentally damaging. It is very likely that meat will play a role in these kids diet as they will be fed it at home. Maybe it is a bit extreme, but sometimes you have to make extreme changes to your lifestyle for your own sake and the sake of humanities continued existence on the planet.
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    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
    Meat is part of a healthy and balanced diet, this is not healthy this is like carrying or an experiment on children.


    Americans should learn not to get so fanatical in their ideas, if I lived in America I would never pledge allegiance to their stupid flag.
    These kids are only eating one or two meals there a day. I'm sure many of the parents are omnivores and feed their kids meat or fish at night. However, many people live very healthy lives as vegetarians and vegans.

    Considering the diet of most Americans this is far healthier than many lead. Most Americans don't even eat enough fruits and vegetables. 87% don't eat enough fruit and 91% don't eat enough vegetables. When fizzy drinks, too much red meat, not enough water etc all come into play it's incredibly unhealthy. Also I think it's important they are teaching children about sustainability and conservation.
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    Would send kid to school with a glorious packed lunch full of beefy goodness so he can eat it in the face of all the vegan peasants.
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    (Original post by Nightwing_)
    Meat can be part of a healthy and balanced diet, but the quantity that it is consumed on average in the US is not healthy and very environmentally damaging. It is very likely that meat will play a role in these kids diet as they will be fed it at home. Maybe it is a bit extreme, but sometimes you have to make extreme changes to your lifestyle for your own sake and the sake of humanities continued existence on the planet.
    Who cares about the continued existence of humanity on the planet, we will be dead millions of times by the time when the humanity will be endangered.
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    (Original post by 0123456543210)
    Who cares about the continued existence of humanity on the planet, we will be dead millions of times by the time when the humanity will be endangered.
    Ok. But it depends what you mean by endangered, yes extinction is probably not right around the corner just yet. But I would argue our current way of life is definitely endangered. I mean there is a very real possibility in the next generation or two the certain areas of countries or in the case of the Maldives, whole countries could start to become uninhabitable. Once this starts happening I think it is just the "beginning of the end". I honestly think you underestimate the seriousness of the problem, oil running out, climate change hitting a tipping point, lack of biodiversity, lack of space to grow food, these are all problems we are likely to face within the next century, your grand-kids are likely to be seriously affected, or if not yours at least the grand-kids of people somewhere in the world, but the poor third world countries will probably fall first, so we don't have to worry about them heh??!!!
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    (Original post by 0123456543210)
    Who cares about the continued existence of humanity on the planet, we will be dead millions of times by the time when the humanity will be endangered.
    It still matters, no matter how distant the prospect of it seems
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    (Original post by VV Cephei A)
    Would send kid to school with a glorious packed lunch full of beefy goodness so he can eat it in the face of all the vegan peasants.
    This.

    It's harder to get all the protein you need on a vegan diet, would the school be working this out?
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    (Original post by Fat Rudeboi)
    This.

    It's harder to get all the protein you need on a vegan diet, would the school be working this out?
    It's actually not harder to get the protein you need on a vegan diet: legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans etc), tofu, tempeh, nuts, nut butters, grains, meat free alternatives.

    it's hard for people who have no understanding of nutrition to obtain the protein they need as vegetarians/vegans. To make a sweeping statement about vegan diets lacking protein is quite reductionist.
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    (Original post by e aí rapaz)
    What I took from the article most was how ignorant so many parents are. I mean, serious ignorance. In a country where childhood obesity rates are at epidemic levels, a school takes a step toward healthier meals and "A whopping 40% of the students were withdrawn by concerned parents"!

    Astounding. What are those parents so worried about? That their children may actually eat some fruit and veg? Even if they believe that meat and/or dairy is necessary for their child (which would be wrong but at least on the scale of fairly normal in terms of wrongness), school only provides five meals a week. What's the big issue?
    Vegetarian and vegan diets are not inherently any more healthier than diets that include meat.

    There is also a difference between vegetarian and vegan. If I had kids, and the school changed its menu to full on vegan (no dairy products either, not just no meat) I would seriously consider moving them if they weren't allowed to bring their own packed lunches. Not because of health but because vegan restricts options a lot, even more than mere vegetarianism.
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    (Original post by VV Cephei A)
    Would send kid to school with a glorious packed lunch full of beefy goodness so he can eat it in the face of all the vegan peasants.
    Orrrrr, you could just send your kid to another school? Leave the vegetarians and vegans alone -_-
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    (Original post by LinnyPinny77)
    It's actually not harder to get the protein you need on a vegan diet: legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans etc), tofu, tempeh, nuts, nut butters, grains, meat free alternatives.

    it's hard for people who have no understanding of nutrition to obtain the protein they need as vegetarians/vegans. To make a sweeping statement about vegan diets lacking protein is quite reductionist.
    Almost as reductionist as making sweeping, incorrect statements about vegan diets being healthier than meat-based diets, which vegans never hesitate to do.
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    Both the vegan school in California and the vegetarian school in Hertfordshire, England are doing an excellent job.

    It's amazing to see schools concerned about sustainability recognising that the meat industry is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions, and that it is bad for the environment in many other ways too.

    If they were serving healthy dishes with animal products in, there won't be too much of a health difference, but if the kids are eating loads of meat outside of school already and generally aren't that healthy, then reducing their saturated fat, red and processed meat intake is going to be helpful.
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    (Original post by Nightwing_)
    Seems like a good idea to me, at least this way one of their meals will have lower impact. If parents do have an issue with the supposed effects on brain development they can feed them animal based products for their evening meal. There is no way that animal based products have to play a role in every meal eaten and if they are still eating them on a daily basis they should have any essential components the parents feel they may be missing.

    It is a good way to educate kids in the effect our food has on the environment, while teaching them that vegan food does not have to be bland and boring, not so they convert but so they can introduce it every now and again.
    I think 40% parents withdrawing represents an underlying issue: most people have no idea what's in their food.
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    This is getting into the realms of telling what you can and can not feed your children.
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    (Original post by daydreamer4life)
    Orrrrr, you could just send your kid to another school? Leave the vegetarians and vegans alone -_-
    There are no vegan children, only the children of vegan parents.
 
 
 
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