Chennai School Nabs PETA Award for Becoming India’s First Vegan School

For Immediate Release:

23 August 2017



Puja Mahajan; [email protected]

Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]

German International School Sets a Precedent With Healthy, Eco-Friendly Plant-Based Menu for Students

Chennai – The German International School Chennai has received a Compassionate School Award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India in recognition of its decision to start serving only vegan meals to students – it is the very first school in India to do so. While many schools serve vegetarian food, these meals will be meat-, egg-, and dairy-free.

In the school newsletter, Principal Melanie Rolf highlighted how the new menu reflects the school’s commitment to environmentalism, writing, “[R]aising animals for food is the single greatest human-caused source of destruction to our environment,” and citing the meat industry’s contribution to greenhouse-gas emissions, land degradation, water pollution, and rainforest destruction. She also shared how the school’s plant-based snacks and lunches – which are packed with nutritious protein sources, such as quinoa, lentils, and beans – provide children with all the vitamins and other nutrients they need.

“As more and more families across India go vegan, the German International School is the very first school to switch to meat-, egg-, and dairy-free student dining,” says PETA Chief Executive Officer Dr Manilal Valliyate. “PETA is recognising this institution for setting the perfect example by teaching students healthy eating habits that also protect animals and the environment.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – 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.

In addition, as seen in PETA’s exposé Glass Walls, in today’s industrialised meat, egg 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.

Furthermore a United Nations report concluded that a global shift towards a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.

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