'Don't force veganism on the young ones': Your reaction to plans for vegan school dinners at Leeds primary schools

Plans have been announced to introduce vegan school dinners to school lunch menus in Leeds - causing outrage amongst some parents.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 6:00 am
More vegan options could be introduced at primary schools in Leeds

Children in Leeds could soon be chowing down on vegan food as part of city-wide plans to help combat climate change.

Catering Leeds, which provides school dinners to 182 primary schools across the city, is set to trial “environmentally friendly” school dinners in an attempt to help reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

The plans propose one non-meat day and one vegetarian day each week and vegan dishes would be introduced to the menu.

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This is what parents in Leeds made of the plans:

'I hope they give us more staff to do this'

Guy Anton Moxon said: "I don’t think veganism should be forced on the young ones, wait until they are older and then give them a choice."

Julie Spellman Neal works in school kitchens and is concerned that providing vegan options will increase work for school chefs.

She said: "There is already halal, meat and veggie options and fresh fruit, salad bar and hot puddings each day.

"I hope they give us more staff and more hours to do this."

Kirsty Fulthorpe said: "Where's the choice though if two days a week there's no meat option? I'm all for each to their own but surely it should be an option."

Rebecca Kelly also thought it was important to give children a choice.

She said: "Each to their own, my daughter won't eat vegan she is too fond of hot dogs for that."

However, Jake Dunnington disagreed and said: "Anyone can eat vegan friendly food, not everyone can eat meat or dairy.

"Taking away a meat option would still mean everyone could eat the food where as if you take away the vegan or vegetarian option then some people couldn't eat at all."

'If it's healthy, what's the problem?'

Cassie Rogerson thought the move was a "good idea" while Michael Banks said: "Fair enough, as long as the kids like it and it’s healthy, what’s the problem?"

Mel Wellyboots said: "I don't get why people are so upset and offended about the encouragement of eating healthier and trying to combat obesity and reduce carbon.

"It's only one meal a week. Beans on toast for example, is it forceful to feed a child beans on toast for a lunch?

"Or a bowl of cereal for breakfast? Some kids doon't even get meals often."

Russ Rush said his children have three choices for their daily school meal, one of which is always vegan.

He added: "I have no problem with this. My son reads the menu each day (he's 5) and picks his own. Tomorrow he will have a veggie burger.

"No issue at all with this, he gets a healthy balance, and gets to make his own choice.

"To me it's how it should be."