Sir Paul McCartney joins PETA in Calling for School Food Reform

Posted by on June 22, 2020 | Permalink

PETA is leading the charge for changes to be made to the outdated School Food Standards for England that would benefit children’s health, the environment, and animals. The campaign is supported by Sir Paul McCartney and his organisation Meat Free Monday, MPs, and environmental, health, and animal protection groups.

What’s Wrong With School Meals?

In England, schools are required to serve a portion of dairy every day, a portion of meat at least three times a week, and a portion of fish once every three weeks. These requirements are out of step with public health advice, are damaging to the environment, and cause animals pain and suffering. We’re calling for the standards to be revised so that each school gets to choose whether or how often it serves dairy, meat, and fish, as long as pupils’ nutritional needs are met.

Paul, Mary, and Stella McCartney, Founders, Meat Free Monday said in support of the campaign:

“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.”

All production of meat, dairy, eggs, and fish emits vastly more greenhouse gases than the production of plant-based equivalents does. Sustainability experts with the EAT-Lancet Commission recommend a diet consisting primarily of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, pulses, and plant-based unsaturated fats in order to prevent climate change. At a time when the government’s climate advisers, the United Nations, and scientists worldwide are calling for a reduction in meat and dairy consumption, why are schools still being forced to serve animal-derived foods?

Childhood obesity rates have never been higher: 20% of children in the UK are obese by the time they’re in year 6. Being overweight increases their risk of suffering from other non-communicable diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, which can lead to an early death. Yet schools are required to serve meat and dairy, which are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. And despite the evidence that processed and red meats cause cancer, schools are still giving children foods like bacon, sausages, and ham.

The School Food Standards are so outdated that they don’t even comply with the government’s own nutritional advice to the public – the Eatwell Guide – which recommends that people eat more pulses and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.

PETA’s Call for Action

PETA and our campaign partners are calling for the removal of mandatory servings of meat (including fish) and dairy from the School Food Standards, allowing schools to meet children’s nutritional requirements in whichever way they choose.

The following companies, groups, and individuals support our campaign:

  • Animal Aid
  • Animal Interfaith Alliance
  • Caroline Lucas MP
  • Caterlink
  • Cllr Alex Phillips
  • Cllr Amanda Onwuemene
  • Cllr Amy Heley
  • Cllr Andree Frieze
  • Cllr Barbara Bentham
  • Cllr Chas Warlow
  • Cllr Chris Barnham
  • Cllr Clare Rainey
  • Cllr Daniel Sutherland
  • Cllr David Francis
  • Cllr David Gipson
  • Cllr David Herbert
  • Cllr Elaine Hills
  • Cllr Hannah Allbrooke
  • Cllr Ian Middleton
  • Cllr Jamie Lloyd
  • Cllr Jayne Francis
  • Cllr Jo Bird
  • Cllr John Reynolds
  • Cllr Judith Grier
  • Cllr Leo Littman
  • Cllr Linda Johnson
  • Cllr Lizzie Deane
  • Cllr Lucy Bywater
  • Cllr Marianna Ebel
  • Cllr Marisa Heath
  • Cllr Martin Osborne
  • Cllr Mike McCusker
  • Cllr Nick Bennett
  • Cllr Niki Crookdake
  • Cllr Pat Cleary
  • Cllr Pete West
  • Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty
  • Cllr Sarah McKeown
  • Cllr Sarah Nield
  • Cllr Shaid Mushtaq
  • Cllr Siriol Hugh-Jones
  • Cllr Steph Powell
  • Cllr Steve Davis
  • Cllr Sue Shanks
  • Cllr Sue Stonehouse
  • Cllr Suzy Horton
  • Cllr Tom Druitt
  • Cllr Zoë John
  • Compassion in World Farming
  • Dale Vince OBE, founder of school meals brand Little Green Devils
  • Dame Diana Johnson DBE MP
  • Future Farm
  • Greenpeace UK
  • Henry Smith MP
  • Humane Society International UK
  • Linda McCartney Foods
  • LIVEKINDLY Collective
  • Meat Free Monday
  • Meatless Farm
  • Ministry of Eco Education
  • Paul, Mary, and Stella McCartney, founders of Meat Free Monday
  • Plant-Based Food Alliance UK
  • Plant-Based Health Professionals UK
  • ProVeg UK
  • Quorn
  • Rachael Maskell MP
  • Royal Society for Public Health
  • The Vegan Society
  • Upfield
  • Vegan Inclusive Education
  • Veganism in Education
  • Vegan Organic Network
  • Veganuary
  • Viva!

Add Your Name

Join us! Ask the secretary of state for education to remove mandatory servings of meat, fish, and dairy from the School Food Standards.