Yesterday, Michelle Obama announced the “Let’s Move” initiative to combat childhood obesity. It includes her plans for improving school lunches. Pretty much everyone knows that school lunches are an absolute disgrace, and that the way America feeds its children is making them fat and sick. Not everyone knows that one of the major contributing elements to this national disgrace is the prevalence of cheap animal-derived foods in the diet. If, by any chance, you want a more detailed look at the crap we are feeding our children, check out this blog by a teacher who is eating what her kids eat, and telling the world about it. BLECHH.
Since animal activism and food activism are in many ways the exact same cause, if you are a parent (or even if you are not) working on improving school lunches is an enormously important way to bring healthy plant-based eating into the mainstream (and make our kids a lot healthier, to boot). Of course, this will not be an exclusively vegan effort, but the more vegan voices that are heard, the more everyone will be exposed to the message that plants are what children (and the rest of us!) need to be eating. One great resource in this effort is the New York Coalition for Healthy School Foods. Its pilot programs, in which children in select NYC schools are being given healthy plant-based lunch options, are relevant not only in New York, but in any school district where parents are trying to do something about school lunches.