France Outlaws Vegetarian
and Vegan Meals in Schools!
Are you kidding me? Being French, this news just about socked me in the gut. Actually, even my father who is a pescatarian (no red or white meat, no cow dairy products, only goat cheese, and fish) keeps telling me that France will be the last country in the world to willingly decrease its meat consumption because people are soo attached to their steak and fries. As of today, France has to be one of the most vegan hostile countries in the world. Come on, there is attachment and there is obsession! This is ridiculous and so sad for this country!
There are a few moments in my life where I have wanted to entirely dissociate myself from my country of birth, and well this would be one of them. I felt the same when blatant tampering with voting machines and other unethical tactics resulted in someone I won’t name, steal the elections. I almost considered moving to Canada!
So what could have caused such a drastic decision?
‘The French agriculture minister, Bruno Lemaire, declared in January 2010 that the government’s aim in determining its public nutritional policy was to defend the French agricultural model and specifically to counter initiatives such as those of Paul McCartney calling for reduced consumption of meat with his Meatless Monday campaign.’
The decree supposedly came as an attempt to improve the quality of school meals. But the French public health authorities hold, in opposition to the findings of most medical authorities in Europe and in the world, that a balanced diet is impossible without animal products. How convenient for the agro-business! How lame too!
Below is the summary of what was decided (courtesy of Team One Green Planet):
“France has issued a governmental order mandating that all meals served in school canteens in France must contain animal products, and that meat and fish will be served at a certain minimum frequency. This implies that no vegetarian or vegan can eat at any public or private school in France (bringing lunch to school is not an option since the government has also banned packed lunches).
France is planning to pass similar requirements for almost all forms of catering from kindergartens to hospitals, prisons, and retirement homes.
So are vegan and vegetarian kids in France supposed to survive on french fries? REALLY?”
FOOD FOR THOUGHTS:
This goes to show a few things if you read between the lines:
1) The meat and dairy industry is losing market share in France and is trying their ultimate dirty trick to ensure their survivability.
2) Paul Mc Cartney’s Meatless Monday’s initiative is gaining ground in Europe.
3) The Vegetarian/vegan movement is quietly growing in France threatening the status-quo.
THE REAL ISSUES:
I can’t help to wonder what will kids with dairy and lactose allergies do then? That should be a legal nightmare for the government to get around. French people don’t sue as easily as Americans but this would be great ground for it. I hope that parents will mobilize to protect the health of their children. We are not saying take everything dead out (although this would be great too), but provide at least a few vegan options, even if it is only the garniture (that’s what I end up eating quite often in restaurants that don’t even have one safe option on their menu).
If this decree is extended to hospitals (God forbid) as they are planning to, then you better not get sick or injured in France! Because vegans won’t be able to eat anything on the menu. As in all things, there is always a silver lining. If you are sick or injured, fasting may be the best thing to do to heal. You can always ask for some fruit and nuts or have friends sneak some snacks for you.
While the rest of the world is reducing its production and consumption of farm animals, getting healthier, and adopt more sustainable farming practices, France will remain the cavemen of Europe, if this decree is not challenged. They will be the unevolved descendants of Lascaux caves! Those who actually painted all the amazing animals had an artistic appreciation for other species! When will we learn?
If you still plan on visiting France or Paris, make sure to patronize vegetarian and vegan restaurants, they will need your support moving forward.