MP Henry Smith Calls On Government to Expel School Meat Mandate

MP Henry Smith Calls On Government to Expel School Meat Mandate

Crawley – With support from Henry Smith and other members of Parliament (MPs), councillors, environmental and animal protection NGOs, food companies, and medical doctors, PETA sent a letter to newly appointed Secretary of State for Education Kit Malthouse calling for the removal of mandatory servings of meat – including fish – and dairy from school meals, as recently recommended by the National Food Strategy. It’s the latest action in PETA’s campaign – backed by Meat Free Monday (an initiative launched by the McCartney family) and award-winning teen vegan chef Omari McQueen – to revise the outdated School Food Standards to benefit children’s health, prevent animal suffering, and reduce carbon emissions.

In the letter, PETA notes that the current meat and dairy mandates limit schools’ capacity to serve children climate-friendly vegan foods and points to a recent study that shows a global shift to vegan eating would result in a 68% decrease in carbon emissions. The regulations are incongruous with the government’s own nutritional advice to the public – the Eatwell Guide – which allows for nutritional needs to be met with meat-free protein sources such as beans, peas, lentils, and mycoprotein.

“Reforming school meals will grant students a healthier, greener future and spare sensitive animals a terrifying death,” says PETA Corporate Projects Manager Dr Carys Bennett. “PETA is urging the Department for Education to update the archaic School Food Standards to remove obligatory servings of meat and dairy, foods that have been found to harm the environment and human health.”

The open letter is signed by MPs including Caroline Lucas and Dame Diana Johnson DBE, over 40 English councillors, Greenpeace UK, Upfield, Quorn, Linda McCartney Foods, and others.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The letter to Malthouse is available here. For more information, please visit or follow the group on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.


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