Ask your school to Go Vegan for Regan

In honour of Regan Russell, Animal Save Movement is urging schools to Go Vegan for Regan and switch to a plant-based menu for the earth, health and especially for the animals.

To send a letter to your school, all you have to do is fill out the form and we will post the letter below along with your comments to your school.

We'd love to know if you get a response to your letter. If you'd like to share it with us please send a copy to plantbasedzones@animalsavemovement.org

Send a letter to your school

If you have any extra comments you would like included in the letter, write them here and we will add them to your letter.
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Copy of the letter your school will receive:

Dear Principal,

I am writing this letter to introduce you to the Go Vegan for Regan initiative and how it can secure a brighter future for our school.

Regan Russell, 65, was born and raised in Hamilton and moved to Winnipeg where she became a model and the first Mrs Canada. She became an animal rights activist in 1979 and was a passionate animal sanctuary volunteer. She spent time in schools inspiring children to help build a more compassionate world for their future.

Tragically on June 19, 2020, Regan Russell was struck and killed by a pig transport truck in front of Fearmans slaughterhouse. She was attending a Toronto Pig Save vigil with six other activists giving water to thirsty pigs on a scorching hot day.

[Your comments will be added here]

By adopting the Go Vegan for Regan initiative and transitioning to plant-based there will be a benefit to student health and the planet as well as attracting significant cost savings.

There are schools around the world already making this important change and there is widespread interest in improving the nutrition and sustainability of school food as well as lowering carbon footprints.

Improving student health:

According to the World Health Organization1, non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, type II diabetes, and some cancers, kill 40M people every year. This accounts for approximately 74% of all deaths. At the same time, there is clear evidence that dietary factors are the greatest modifiable risk factor for NCDs. In fact, a recent Oxford University2 study found the consumption of meat was associated with higher risks of multiple NCDs. Additionally, we know that animal agriculture is responsible for increasing antibiotic resistance3 and a source of zoonotic diseases which, as we know, pose a serious threat to human health.

Increasing student safety & inclusivity:

In recent years, you have likely noticed an increase in the number of sensitivities, intolerances, allergies, and even anaphylaxis to eggs and dairy. These dietary restrictions pose challenges, and risks, to food service organizations. Borrowing from the accessibility movement, by taking a universal design approach to menu planning, the maximum number of students can be served a single meal without accommodation. This makes a plant-based menu the safest, most inclusive, and most efficient option for organizations engaged in large scale food service.

Greater cost savings:

A plant-based menu can provide substantial savings to a school’s food budget. By incorporating plant-based proteins and serving water as the healthy beverage of choice, as recommended in the 2019 Canada Food Guide, food budgets can be expected to be reduced by 10-20%.

Reducing your environmental footprint:

And then there is the environment. Animal agriculture uses drastically more land and water and produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any other single industry4. In fact, switching to a plant-based diet is the single most impactful change a person can make to reduce their environmental footprint.

So, the benefits of a plant-based menu in schools are:

  • Nutrition:a plant-based menu can meet and exceed all the nutrient requirements for all stages of life without the negative health outcomes from a standard western diet
  • Safety:no risk of exposure for students who are anaphylactic to eggs and dairy
  • Efficiency:fewer meal options to prepare daily as they will be suitable for all students
  • Cost:plant-based menus can reduce food costs by 10-20%
  • Sustainability:plant-based diets are the single greatest way to reduce environmental impact

We know that lifelong food preferences and dietary habits are formed in childhood and adolescence, and we know that time is running out to meet our 2050 target of net-zero emissions to not exceed 1.5oc warming. Students are worried for their futures and want support to make choices that will improve the health of their planet and their health.

The best thing you can do for students is to be a shining example and serve only plant-based meals as a matter of urgency. If you are not able to implement this right away, here are some steps to help you transition to a plant-based menu:

  1. Commit to increasing plant-based menu options for students
  2. Include health warnings on meals containing animal products to help us make healthier choices
  3. Make the plant-based option the default option when students haven’t selected a meal option
  4. Help educate students about the health benefits of a plant-based diet

Animal Save Movement (ASM) has a mission to promote and make accessible a plant-based diet to solve the epidemic of preventable diseases and improve the quality of life in our community. Check out ASM’s website www.plantbasedzones.org for recipes, menu planning, resources, nutrition experts, and connections with other educational facilities who have made the switch to support you with your transition to a plant-based menu.

For more information and advice contact plantbasedzones@animalsavemovement.org.

Kind regards,

[Your name & address]


References:

  1. World Health Organization. (2021, February 3). Michael R. Bloomberg and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus call for global focus on noncommunicable diseases to save lives from COVID-19.
  2. Papier, K., Fensom, G.K., Knuppel, A. et al. 2021
  3. 11 Hospital Food Champions Told us What Plant Forward Means to Them
  4. Ranganathan, J., Vennard, D., Waite, R., Dumas, P., Lipinski, B., Searchinger, T., & Globagri-WRR Model Authors. (2016). Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future. International Food Policy Research Institute.