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VEGGIE PARENTS STAND FIRM AGAINST HOSTILITY FROM TEACHERS
Posted 12 February 2003
A significant number of vegetarian children experience hostility from both fellow pupils and their teachers, according to a major new Animal Aid survey.
Based on the experiences of nearly 800 veggie parents throughout the UK, the report also points to lack of proper lunch provision at school. This can be so severe that some parents abandon plans for raising their children on a healthy, meat-free diet.
The new report, called Building a Veggie Future: Animal Aid's Vegetarian Parents' Questionnaire, is published to mark the start, on March 1, of Veggie Month - the annual nation-wide celebration of the meat-free diet organised by Animal Aid.
Building a Veggie Future shows that, despite encountering prejudice and lack of proper provision, most vegetarian parents succeed in bringing their children up veggie. The report insists, however, that where hostility, ridicule and bullying do take place, it is the obligation of the school authorities to remedy the situation – whether the negative pressure comes from teachers or other pupils. Animal Aid has written to the Department of Education asking it to ensure that teachers and others involved in education are more aware of their responsibilities to children who have chosen, or who are thinking of choosing, a vegetarian diet.
Said Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler:
"For the first time, veggie parents have spoken out about the prejudice they can face at school when following their conscience and giving their children a diet that is both healthy and animal-friendly. That most are undeterred by the negative pressure is testimony to the strength of their own convictions and to the common cause they find with a rapidly increasing number of other veggie families."
Notes to Editors
- Building a Veggie Future: Animal Aid's Vegetarian Parents' Questionnaire (available from 25th February in hard copy or on our website www.animalaid.org.uk) describes, in their own words, the experiences of veggie parents throughout the UK. Many parents are available for interview. Contact the office for details.
- The new report is available to the public on request as part of a free Veggie Month pack that includes lots of nutritional, health, recipe and animal welfare information. The pack can be ordered through the group's website, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by post, or via the special Veggie Line: 01732 354032.
- For more information call Becky Lilly or Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546.
- We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality interviews.
- For Veggie Month 2002, Animal Aid published a report on vegetarian school meals, which was based on a survey of nearly 400 schools. We revealed that, although some canteens have good veggie menus, 27% have days when no vegetarian option is provided. Our report resulted in an important clarification of government guidelines to school caterers. Animal Aid provides a free catering pack to all schools, businesses and agencies with a responsibility for school meal provision.