German International School–Chennai has received a Compassionate School Award from PETA India in recognition of its recent decision to start serving only vegan meals to students – it’s the first school in India to do so. While many schools serve vegetarian food, these meals will be meat-, egg-, and dairy-free. ree.
In the school newsletter, Principal Melanie Rolf highlighted how the new menu reflects the school’s commitment to environmentalism, writing, “Raising animals for food is the single greatest human-caused source of destruction to our environment,” and citing the meat industry’s contribution to greenhouse gases, land degradation, water pollution, and rainforest destruction. She also shared how the school’s plant-based snacks and lunches – which are packed with nutritious proteins, such as quinoa, lentils, and beans – provide children with all the vitamins and other nutrients they need.
PETA notes that while meat contains saturated animal fat and cholesterol, vegan meals are rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Milk consumption by children can lead to intestinal problems, obesity, chronic ear infections, asthma, and even diabetes, and scientists report that 33 per cent of Indians – including 70 per cent of Southern Indians – are lactose-intolerant.
What’s more, as seen in our exposé “Glass Walls”, in today’s industrialised meat and dairy industries, chickens’ throats are cut while they’re still conscious, fish suffocate or are cut open while they’re still alive, pigs are often stabbed in the heart as they scream in pain, and calves are torn away from their mothers within hours of birth. In slaughterhouses, animals are often killed in full view of one another and dismembered while they’re still conscious.
And a United Nations report concluded that a global shift towards a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.