12-Year-Old Vegan Chef Calls For an End to Mandatory Meat in School Meals

For Immediate Release:
15 July 2020

Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]

12-Year-Old Vegan Chef Calls For an End to Mandatory Meat in School Meals

Young Entrepreneur Joins PETA and Environmental, Health, and Animal Groups in Calling For Modernisation of Guidelines

London – The UK’s youngest award-winning vegan chef, Omari McQueen – who’s also the CEO and founder of Dipalicious dips – has spoken out in support of PETA’s campaign calling for the government to remove the requirement for servings of fish, meat, and dairy from the School Food Standards and replace it with more flexible nutritional guidelines.

In a recent letter – supported by Paul, Mary, and Stella McCartney, founders of Meat Free Monday; the Royal Society for Public Health; and others – PETA notes that the current animal-derived food mandates limit schools’ capacity to serve children climate-friendly vegan foods. The regulations 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.

“It’s so important to eat tasty foods that keep us healthy and energised during the day, are kind to the planet, and don’t hurt animals,” says McQueen. “Because we don’t need meat or dairy, schools should be able to choose if they want to serve them.”

McQueen, who was also given PETA’s Compassionate Kid Award in 2018, decided to go vegan at the age of 8 after doing research for his YouTube channel. He now has a selection of vegan dips, snacks, juice packs, and seasonings available on his website, and last year, he opened his own pop-up restaurant at Croydon’s Boxpark. He’s also just announced the launch of his first book, Omari McQueen‘s Best Bites Cookbook, planned for January 2021.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – points to a poll by Linda McCartney Foods in 2019, that revealed that 70% of British children want more vegan meals on their school menus. As the world faces dual health and climate crises, going vegan is one of the best things young people can do for animals, the planet, and their own health.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.