Legal Issues

West Dunbartonshire Council now offers Vegan Food at Schools

Vegan Society Legal Team helped Glasgow mother

Nurseries, primary and secondary schools in West Dunbartonshire in Scotland will from now on offer vegan options, thanks to the efforts of one mother, as reported by the Glasgow Evening Times.

Alexis Kasravi was unable to provide her young daughter with a vegan food when she was at nursery due to health reasons and concerns about cross-contamination. The nursery refused her request that it provided a vegan option. This effectively meant that young Mia was not provided with a suitable meal.

This prompted Alexis to get in touch with The Vegan Society’s legal team for help. She was then able to write a suitable formal letter to a council education officer requesting that her daughter Mia be provided with vegan food.

The outcome was a success. Five-year-old Mia Kasravi is now receiving a vegan school meal at St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Clydebank. As a result of Mia’ mother’s campaign, now all schools in the council area are offering vegan food options. The actions of one concerned mother have led to a significant change in the council’s policy.

Ms Kasravi said: “I am very happy that my daughter can enjoy the meals she deserves and that other vegan children will automatically be offered this option.

“Mia is now in primary school and enjoying her food very much, and we don’t have to worry about secondary school battles later either!

“It’s important for public institutions like schools to cater for vegan pupils, but plant-based food can be enjoyed by most people, so it promotes inclusivity, sustainability and good nutrition.”

Veganism protected under human rights and equality law

Dr Jeanette Rowley, The Vegan Society’s legal advisor, said: “We are delighted to have been able to help Alexis and Mia.

“All children, regardless of their ethical convictions, should be able to benefit from government-funded schemes; we applaud the school and council for recognising this.  

“Veganism is protected under human rights and equality law, which means if a child is eligible for a free school meal, the duty is not to discriminate by providing a vegan option.”

A campaign recently led East Renfrewshire to commit to offering vegan meals in its schools. In a similar move in Ireland, a pilot project has been established to provide hot vegan meals in Irish schools.

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Nicholas Orosz

Nicholas is a former City solicitor and Cambridge graduate. He has a long-standing interest in health & nutrition, the environmental movement, green politics & digital publishing. He has always loved crafting words. His transition to a vegan perspective has been gradual and an ongoing process of self-discovery. Contact: nicholas@vegansbethechange.com
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