In what appears to be a violation of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, the French Parliament has issued a new governmental order declaring all meals served to school children must contain animal products.
According to Organic Authority, “French Parliament voted on the law that now essentially insures that six million school age children in France no longer have the option to choose vegan or vegetarian meals. Similar rulings will soon be in effect for hospitals, prisons, retirement homes and catering.”
In the past, we have praised the French for protecting youngsters from TV and cell phones; however, this declaration leaves one to wonder. What about the right to chose a vegetarian lifestyle for your family?
My children attend a public school with horrible meals. There are no choices for vegetarians, but many public schools do cater to alternative diets. Berkeley Unified School District offers children vegetarian lunch options, as do Chicago public schools. If these cities were in France, would they be forced to change their menus?
The European Vegetarian and Animal News Alliance further explains the new order:
A governmental order issued on October 2, 2011(1) has determined 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 by law from now on no vegetarian can eat at any public or private school in France.
Six million schoolchildren are now forced to eat animal flesh, whether they wish to or not. For many families lunch at home is not an option. At best, a vegetarian student will be allowed to leave the meat on the plate, and consequently suffer from inadequate and imbalanced meals…
No practical considerations warrant a blanket prohibition of vegetarianism even in those canteens where the management is willing to offer vegetarian or vegan alternatives. These decrees are thus an arbitrary violation of the rights of the vegetarian citizens of France.
Image credit: Some rights reserved by OliBac