INDEPENDENT NEWS

Vegetarianism in schools is ‘entirely appropriate’

Published: Mon 20 Jan 2020 09:27 AM
NZ Vegetarian Society says vegetarianism in schools is ‘entirely appropriate’
The NZ Vegetarian Society has responded to claims that a new climate change resource which encourages students to eat less meat and dairy should be removed from schools.
The resource has been produced by the Ministry of Education, and is called ‘Climate Change: Prepare Today, Live Well Tomorrow’. It has been designed to help children understand how to live with climate change, and it recommends that students who want to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions should 'eat less meat and dairy products'.
The suggestion that students eat fewer animal products has upset some meat and dairy lobbyists, who have been quick to criticise it. However, the NZ Vegetarian Society says that it is right that our schools should be educating students about dietary choices.
Mr McKibbin, spokesperson for the NZ Vegetarian Society, says that just as schools teach students about the importance of healthy eating and physical exercise, it is right that they should educate students about the impact our choices have on the environment.
‘Just as children are taught about eating well in Health and the benefits of physical activity in PE, it is entirely appropriate that they learn about the impact our choices can have on the environment. The fact is, animal agriculture - and dairy farming especially - is extremely damaging to the environment. It produces a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions, and it is polluting our land and rivers. It is right that these issues, and positive actions like vegetarianism, are presented in schools.’
Mr McKibbin says that the claim that meat and dairy consumption is harmful to the environment is based in fact:
‘We know that animal agriculture contributes to our country’s greenhouse gas emissions. According to the government, here in New Zealand animal agriculture accounts for almost 50% of our greenhouse gas emissions. This isn’t a conspiracy - it says this very clearly on the Ministry for Primary Industry’s website. MPI isn’t an anti-farming organisation; in fact, it’s the government department that’s most supportive of our farmers. Even they admit that there’s a serious problem.’
Mr McKibbin says there is a danger in allowing industry bodies to dictate what our students do and do not learn:
‘It would be like if the tobacco industry challenged the advice that, because smoking causes lung cancer, people shouldn’t smoke cigarettes. Whereas, actually, saying to students, ‘if you want to reduce your chances of getting lung cancer, don’t take up smoking’ is a responsible message. It’s a similar thing with animal products. If you don’t want to have as big a negative impact on the environment, eat less meat and dairy. Like the tobacco industry, the animal agriculture industry wants to make money for its stakeholders. We think education should instead be based on facts.’
The NZ Vegetarian Society promotes vegetarianism. Each year, it runs its annual Think Kind Student Competition, which encourages students to use their unique talents to do something to help animals. To learn more about vegetarianism, visit www.vegetarian.org.nz
ends

Next in New Zealand politics

On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown
By: Gordon Campbell
On Going To Level Four (and Scrapping The Olympics) Right Now
By: Gordon Campbell
Cabinet Approves Business Continuity Package In Response To COVID-19
By: New Zealand Government
Statement From Police Commissioner Mike Bush Following Guilty Pleas In Operation Deans Prosecution
By: New Zealand Police
Record transport investment in Draft GPS 2021
By: New Zealand Government
On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones
By: Gordon Campbell
On The Oil Price Smackdown, And On National’s Fatuous Crusade Against Red Tape
By: Gordon Campbell
Predator Free 2050 Strategy - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
On Buying Ventilators, And Expanding The Testing For Covid-19
By: Gordon Campbell
Advance payments to support contractors
By: New Zealand Government
Auckland Council Welcomes Package To Stimulate Economic Recovery
By: Auckland Council
Infrastructure Sector Sees 30 Percent Less Jobs
By: Infrastructure NZ
COVID-19 And The Fundamentals Of Living On A Timed Borrow
By: Nikko AM
Fixing Wellington’s Infrastructure Deficit Should Be Top Of Government’s To-do List
By: Business Central
Nation Steps Up To COVID-19 Alert Level 2
By: New Zealand Government
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media